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Teach your children well – about fake news

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Teach your children well – about fake news

By The Nation

 

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Thailand would do well to mimic a Finnish model that’s bearing fruit in schools, countering this damaging social menace

 

Statistics are showing that Finland’s patient and comprehensive campaign to halt the spread of fake news is starting to see positive results. A key element of the strategy is education – teaching young students to be alert to falsities they encounter online, to be wary of what’s presented as fact and to be resourceful about verifying information. Other countries are paying attention to the effort, but finding that, so far, there’s still only a glimmer of hope, and even that didn’t appear overnight. 

 

Finnish students have been learning about methods employed to deceive users of social media, about how easily pictorial imagery can be manipulated, about half-truths, faked user-profiles and how intimidation comes into play. The more astute among them will be understanding important life lessons – that there is a dark side to society and that there are ways to overcome it with honesty and optimism.

 

The students are shown how to identify bots and trolling banks by assessing the volume of posts per day from any single source. They’re shown re-purposed photos captioned with falsified information and learn how to spot inconsistent translations and the telltale lack of a poster’s personal information. It’s not all that complicated – unless you compare it with teaching young children how to cross the street safely, which in simpler times was the source of our worst worries.

 

What younger Finns are learning is just part of an anti-fake-news  initiative launched by their government in 2014, fully two years before Russia apparently meddled in the United States presidential election. Journalists, politicians and in fact all residents are being encouraged to appreciate the 

hurtful societal divisiveness that false information can cause.

 

The campaign is remarkable for its scope and understanding of the problem and the long-term planning attached to it. Fake news isn’t to be tackled through flash-in-the-pan measures and it would be a grave mistake to leave children out of the public-education process. The Finnish model seeks to build a fortress against falsity from the ground up, so that if children can recognise attempts to dupe them and to respond appropriately, the future of truth has a sound basis.

 

The most troubling component of fake news is “hate speech” – commentary rooted in racism, sexism and other regressive prejudices. Children everywhere, whether at home or in school, should be raised to recognise such generalised intolerance as despicable and anti-social and be taught to shun it and, if they can safely do so, combat it. 

 

Thailand, so agonisingly divided along political lines, is vulnerable to fake news and its ugly offspring hate speech. Here too, youngsters should be taught how easily if crudely and unwittingly their attention and interests can be manipulated. Our kids are internet wizards and they should be more adept than their elders at fact-checking. 

 

Demands are made that social-media platforms impose stricter measures to stem the spread of fake news. Their response is inevitably tied to the knowledge, expertise and intelligence of their users – and to those users’ contrary expectations of freely flowing information. So, in truth, the survival of fake news comes down to the users’ ability to recognise falsity and their level of tolerance for it. That is the ground that up from which this battle will be won or lost. The evolution will require patience, yet can be hastened with persistence and an unwillingness to compromise. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30370024

 

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Thats all good and well however for anyone with half a brain can tell most of the news on the television and so on is fake, bias, etc.. If my children started ranting to others about the realities i could get in trouble i presume. This isn't Finland.

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A good indicator of fake news is when they start to go on and on about hate speech, sexism, and racism. Also, if the source is an opinion piece from mainstream news.

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16 minutes ago, unamazedloso said:

Thats all good and well however for anyone with half a brain can tell most of the news on the television and so on is fake, bias, etc.. If my children started ranting to others about the realities i could get in trouble i presume. This isn't Finland.

I do disagree , theres hardly any fake news on television  , some may be a a bit biased , but people do have opinions about things and you cnnot expect everyone to be in the middle every time 

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18 minutes ago, sanemax said:

I do disagree , theres hardly any fake news on television  , some may be a a bit biased , but people do have opinions about things and you cnnot expect everyone to be in the middle every time 

yes...  "we need our weave"

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"Fake News" is anything that the those in power consider to be counter to their own narrative.  The term "Fake News" is in itself a pejorative.  Labeling information as "Fake News" is simply a rather insidious form of censorship that seeks to support only an official narrative while rejecting all others.  When educational institution indoctrinate students to reject "Fake News" what is really happening is the melding of young minds to accept only one view - the view of those who rule. 

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Starting with this government.....Just sayin'.

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When governments or authorities start enforcing laws about what is and is not 'fake news', we are in serious trouble.

As has been pointed out, in both the West and certainly here in Thailand, the giant media corporations are owned and controlled by a relative handful of people - who do not always have the best interests of the ordinary Western or Thai person at heart.

As other posters have pointed out, 'fake news' is all too often the truth which the Power Wielders wish to hide!

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Teach your children well

Is that not fake news in itself in this country?

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1 hour ago, Eligius said:

When governments or authorities start enforcing laws about what is and is not 'fake news', we are in serious trouble.

As has been pointed out, in both the West and certainly here in Thailand, the giant media corporations are owned and controlled by a relative handful of people - who do not always have the best interests of the ordinary Western or Thai person at heart.

As other posters have pointed out, 'fake news' is all too often the truth which the Power Wielders wish to hide!

 

Which is more of a reason for people to be taught how to spot fake news, this is a good thing - it is called critical thinking

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Well I for one applaud the Finns for at least realising there may be an issue and for trying to make young people aware of something that is a lot more useful then most of the useless information I was taught when I was at school.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, PremiumLane said:

Which is more of a reason for people to be taught how to spot fake news, this is a good thing - it is called critical thinking

Sadly, 'critical thinking' (especially as taught in Thailand) is all too often merely thinking within very narrow and pre-determined limits. You are allowed to think 'critically' -  as long as that does not challenge (or heaven forbid, threaten!) Authority.

 

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Be nice if they had a free online adult extension course. Many adults I've know could use it.

This is a handy little site to refer to in order to determine what sort of ruse is being used on you...

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

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So little Somchai, what you may have heard about this guy Santa Claus ------.

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1 hour ago, PremiumLane said:

Which is more of a reason for people to be taught how to spot fake news, this is a good thing - it is called critical thinking

Or brainwashing, depending on the outfit doing the teaching and their motive.

 

State systems are generally not in the business of getting the general public to think critically - at least not about the system they live under and whether it could be improved.

 

Of course, Finland - with a school system the envy of the world - might be an exception. A clear case of need to know more.

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