Fake news and critical thinking in information evaluation

Georgiadou, Elli, Rahanu, Harjinder, Siakas, Kerstin V., McGuinness, Claire, Edwards, J. Adam ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9536-6782, Hill, Vanessa ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3030-4593, Khan, Nawaz, Kirby, Padraig, Cavanagh, Jerald and Knezevic, Ratko (2018) Fake news and critical thinking in information evaluation. In: Western Balkan Information Literacy Conference WBILC 2018, 21-22 June 2018, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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In the post-truth era we are constantly bombarded with “news” which is fabricated, distorted, and massaged information, published with the intention to deceive and mislead others. Such “news” has come to be known as “fake news”. The influence of fake news can have profound socio-political and cultural effects when translated into action. The ability to distinguish between real facts, fabricated stories, rumours, propaganda, or opinions is of paramount importance. The rapid proliferation of information through social media is now the norm. In this paper we consider the challenge of preparing students, in developing skills for recognising mis-information, dis-information and mal-information. We argue that critical thinking for evaluating information should now be considered a basic literacy, equally important to literacy itself, as well as information and information technology literacies.

In this paper we revisit Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive skills and represent what a learner can achieve at each level. We customise the traditional moral and ethical concepts suggested by the US Content Subcommittee of the ImpactCS Steering Committee to flag the ethical concerns over mis-information, dis-information and mal-information. We report on current levels of awareness and practices at the authors’ five higher education institutions, and reveal varying levels of awareness of the significance of critical literacy and different practices in each location. The paper concludes with an outline of future work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords (uncontrolled): critical thinking; critical literacy; fake news; post-truth; ethics; intellectual property; the role of librarians and academics
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 24364
Notes on copyright: Reproduced in this Repository with permission
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Depositing User: Adam Edwards
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 11:28
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 12:28
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24364

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