Digital Citizenship – Evaluating Online Sources

How do you get your news? Social media? News apps? Television? Traditional newspapers? Historically—before cable and the internet, there were only four television networks, and the only method for readers to comment on news was to write letters to the editor.

Discuss the following questions:

  • Why do you think some people share fake news stories?
  • What is the potential problem with fake news and not being able to tell what is fake and what isn’t?
  • Why do you think the public has become skeptical of the media’s credibility?

Analysis of online behavior in 2016 found that fake news stories are more likely to be shared than factual stories on social media. As a class, discuss the following questions:

  • Why does it matter if fake news stories are shared more than legitimate ones?
  • What are the dangers of sharing fake information?
  • Do social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have a responsibility to warn readers that some stories are fake?
  • As consumers of news, do we have a responsibility to make sure stories we share on social media are factual?


Interest in reading a story  Talk with your neighbor and ask these three questions> Ask a few volunteers to share how they answered each question and why.

  • I am more likely to read a story if I have an emotional reaction to it. Yes or no?
  • I am more likely to share a story if I have an emotional reaction to it. Yes or no?
  • I think about whether a story is true before I share it with others. Yes or no?

Broadening the conversation by asking students the following questions:

  • Why does democracy depend on fair and accurate media?
  • Why is it important that we receive accurate information (factual and without errors)?
  • Why is it important that we learn to detect bias (unreasonable beliefs or prejudices) in news reporting?



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Ben Carson Said That Illegal Immigrants Caught Voting Should Lose Their U.S. Citizenship


Satire pages :

On line fact checking: