ake news — misinformation found in publications and on websites that look deceptively newsy — has
always been around. But as the Internet and social media have made distribution and sharing of fake news
faster and easier, its impact has been distressing. Many times fake news has been accepted as real.
Students in par ticular have a hard time discerning fact from fiction. A 2016 Stanford University study
found that , for example, 80 percent of students could not distinguish between ads dressed up as news
stories and the real thing. Four in 10 believed the headline of a photo of deformed flowers was strong
evidence of toxic conditions near a nuclear plant , despite no source or location given for the photo.
Educators are helping students understand the importance of critical thinking, credibility and
fact-checking when it comes to sorting truth from falsehoods.
Cherina Betters' seventh-grade class
found it challenging to distinguish
fake news from real news.
teaching & learning