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

UPDATE: Fatal fire in wooded area on Langley-Surrey border not suspicious, RCMP says

No cause of death announced; investigation continues, say RCMP

Pedestrian in critical condition after crash on Highway 10 in Cloverdale

Police say ‘serious collision’ has closed Highway 10 westbound, between 176th and 168th

Bayside Sharks ‘getting creative’ as rugby players get set for return to pitch

BC Rugby’s return-to-play guidelines announced July 7

Woman receives ‘extremely disturbing sexual threats’ while on bus in Surrey: police

Incident happened July 14 around 11 p.m. after she got on a bus at Newton Exchange

After 26 years of playing the lottery, Surrey man wins $1M on Canada Day

Surinderpal Gill says he wants to start his own business

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

Semi-truck driver charged after six-vehicle leaves several injured near Sicamous

Investigators believe a semi-truck crossed a double solid line along Trans-Canada Highway

Brave 7-year-old boy rescues older child from drowning in Shuswap Lake

RCMP to look into Red Cross award for Ranchero resident Cody Krabbendam

Commons finance committee to begin probing WE Charity’s volunteering contract

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted he should have recused himself from the decision

Canucks want baby bear cub at Aldergrove zoo named Huggy Bear

Greater Vancouver Zoo recently rescued three grizzly bear cub who need names

Police watchdog probes Vancouver arrest after man on bicycle left with ‘serious’ injuries

Police were searching for a man who was allegedly involved in a prior incident when they saw him on a bicycle

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

Twitter racing to unravel mystery cyberattack

Some of the world’s most prominent names had their Twitter accounts post invitations for an apparent Bitcoin scam

Most Read

l -->