Some of you may have heard of the recent controversy surrounding Facebook’s “top stories” function promoting misleading, sloppily reported, or even completely made up news stories. Concern has escalated following the election, with many citing the exchange of falsified news as a factor of Donal Trump’s win.
This has been compounded by the fact that many internet users don’t know fake news when they see it. Nicole A. Cooke, a professor at the University of Illinois’s School of Information Sciences, has been trying to combat this problem in her classrooms. In an interview with The Verge, she discusses the importance of teaching information literacy to students and other internet users in order to help them evaluate information sources they come across. Facing an over-abundance of information, users have to be critical of the sources they consult. Information literacy education is central, but another part of the problem is combatting the algorithms that classify and promote sensationalized news in the first place.
-Lily Martin, LIS 653-02