InfoHunter: Improve your media literacy skills and track fake news!

  • Awareness
  • 28/03/2019
  • French Safer Internet Centre

Today, a picture or a video can be manipulated in a thousand ways. We can lie on the caption of a photo or on the subtitles of a video and, with editing, we can alter history... So, how can we recognise the truth? How do we know if the content is reliable or not? Where, when, how and why was a photo taken? In an era of "fake news", it has become essential to know how to ask the right questions, how to track details, and to know about the tools that can help to ease this process. InfoHunter, a pedagogical resource from the French Safer Internet Centre (SIC), is a free digital course for teenagers to help them acquire good media literacy reflexes.

What does InfoHunter include?
As a first step, participants are invited to watch a video. For high-school students (Cycle 4), this might be, for example, a documentary that traces the supposed invention of AIDS by the United States. This fake documentary "indoctrinates" young people to better involve them in the analysis of the news (or fake news) production. They are then invited to debate and answer some hot questions. During this stage, the teenagers start to understand that they have been misled and once their anger has passed, they are eager to understand how to better behave online.
 
As a next step, the teenagers work together to look for clues and recognise elements which they could have checked using simple tools that anyone can find online (such as reverse image search to find the source of images, voting tools and comparing the results of polls conducted in different situations).
Image of the InfoHunter resource from the French Safer Internet Centre.
The InfoHunter resource helps to develop media literacy skills
 
As a final step, the young people are asked to create their own critical reading chart to assess the relevance of the information they receive.
 
What does InfoHunter bring to its target group?
By the end of the course, the participants have:
  • Discovered journalistic methods of creating and validating information.
  • Developed the ability to flush out some false information thanks to simple tools.
  • Been made aware of the mechanisms of conspiracy theories.
  • Discovered cognitive biases that sometimes naturally lead us to accept that the probable situation is always the true one.
In quantitative terms, 10,000 users have experienced the first version of the InfoHunter resource over the course of the last year. This year, the French Safer Internet Centre intend to move to a project-scale phase by training educational networks on using the resource.
 
If you are curious to know more about InfoHunter, please visit www.infohunter.education.
 
Find out more information about the work of the French Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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