SPOT Fake News Online, a campaign from News Media Canada, is taking aim at disinformation online. (News Media Canada)

VIDEO: New campaign aims to help Canadians ‘SPOT’ fake news online

News Media Canada launches campaign to help readers sort fact from fiction

The organization that represents newspapers in Canada has a new tool to help readers distinguish fact from fiction online.

News Media Canada, of which Black Press Media is a member, launched a media literacy tool called SPOT Fake News Online, a four-part questionnaire readers can use when consuming news.

The four simple questions are:

  • S: Is this a credible source? Check the source of the article – and be skeptical.
  • P: Is the perspective biased? Think critically and look for varying viewpoints on an issue.
  • O: Are other sources reporting the same story? Be your own fact-checker and verify the validity of the story.
  • T: Is the story timely? Check the date the story was published. Sometimes, stories use old information to take advantage of a timely occurrence.

New Media Canada CEO John Hinds said the tool was designed to be straightforward enough for people of all ages to use it, with the help of media experts who focus on media manipulation and bogus news reports.

ALSO READ: Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

“Fake news is often used as an umbrella term for misleading, false or fabricated information,” Hinds said. “It can surface in different shapes, sizes and formats: from false stories, to manipulated photos or altered videos.”

According to recent polls by Ipsos, Earnscliffe Strategy Group and MIT researchers, nearly all Canadians have come across misinformation online, yet only 40 per cent feel they know how to identify it.

The polls also suggest 90 per cent of Canadians admitted to having fallen for fake news, and only a third of them regularly check to see if the stories they’re consuming are legitimate.

Hinds warnedthe tool won’t help those simply looking to debunk views they don’t agree with.

“The term ‘fake news’ is often used incorrectly, to discredit or dismiss information that people don’t like or agree with. SPOT Fake News Online is intended to help build citizens’ critical thinking and preparedness and increase their resiliency to disinformation,” he said.

The program is being funded through Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Initiative.

Meanwhile, non-profit Canadian Journalism Foundation has launched its own tool to fight fake news. The “Doubt It?” campaign is a collection of online quizzes and public service announcements from Canadian media personalities such as retired CBC host Peter Mansbridge.

– with a file from Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

330 km walk for charity stopping in Sylvan Lake

Chris Sadleir, 45, is walking from Calgary to Edmonton to raise money for the Lung Association

School curriculum to focus on basics, says LaGrange

Minister Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer South, said it will ‘unleash student potential’

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

Sylvan Lake man’s documentary getting limited run in Alberta theatres

Scott McDermott’s documentary will be in 14 theatres, including Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin

Masks now mandatory in schools for Grades 4-12, staff

Students, teachers and staff will be provided with two reusable masks to be worn in schools

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 14-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Most Read