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

Dragon boaters being sought for a new team in Ladysmith

Men and women just need to bring along their enthusiasm and dedication

Police encourage the public to register their bicycles

It helps to have pictures, make and model in the recovery process from thefts

UPDATED with VIDEO and PHOTOS: One person treated for minor burns in Crofton fire Monday morning

Firefighters were called out at 7 a.m. to a blaze at the Twin Gables Motel

Public engagement on North Cowichan forest reserve begins this month

Consulting firm presents engagement plan at North Cowichan council meeting

SD79 finalizes $106-million budget for 2019-20

$2.1-million increase in revenue from previous year

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

Most Read