In an essay for The Conversation, entitled How we can learn to reject fake news in the digital world? Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson describe ways to challenge fake news through metaliteracy. The spread of fake news across social media presents us all with a reality check about the danger of deception in these spaces. As the authors describe in the article, fake news stories that appear to be easily accepted by online users is a problem that warrants a strong educational response through focused metaliterate teaching and learning. The same approaches outlined in the article address concerns about misinformation that is created and shared online as well. Several of metaliteracy’s learning goals and objectives speak directly to the situation we find ourselves in with a proliferation of fake news and misinformation online.
The response to the essay has been tremendous, leading to an interview with Tom and Trudi by reporter Torie Wells from 6CBSNews for the TV news story Facebook preparing to flag fake news stories. According to stats provided by The Conversation, the article has had over 7,000 readers to date, with 796 Facebook shares, 115 tweets, and 143 shares via LinkedIn. The article has been published by the Associated Press, Government Technology, and newspapers across the country, including the Albany Times Union, Houston Chronicle, SFGate, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among others.
Last year, Jacobson and Mackey wrote an article for The Conversation about how to protect ourselves online from those annoying ads that follow us around while surfing the Web. The authors said that becoming meta-literate in today’s social media world prepares us to think critically about the sites we visit online and to develop smart search strategies that protect our identity. This latest piece about fake news is an extension of that work, applying metaliteracy to real world practice.