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Fake News & Bad Info: Media Literacy Resources

Learn how language can be used to in a way that it affects the way people perceive reality. Unlike real news, whose purpose is to simply inform, the main purpose of fake news is to confuse and manipulate people.

Current News Climate

Fast-paced and complex information environment

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How well the public is equipped to parse through news in the current environment?

  • news consumers must make rapid-fire judgments about how to internalize news-related statements 
    • news-related statements that can come in snippets or with little or no context
  • growing political divide in which sources Americans get news from and trust

Case Study: Disney Lowers Drinking Age

Image TikTok video Disnewy World Lowering Drinking AgeImage  - Likes on Tik Tok video Oct. 18, 2023

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Use Four Moves to Find the Truth

1. Check for previous work

  • Start with Snopes, a fact checking site.
    • an article on the story\labeled it as fake news satire
  • Check ABC 10 News, aired it on their fact or fiction segment, where it was determined to be fiction (see link below)

2. Go upstream to the source

  • the TikTok video originally came from an article published by the same TikTok user, @mousetrapnews.
  • @mousetrapnews has their own webpage dedicated to news stories about Disneyland parks. 
  • the original article claimed Disney was battling Florida in the courts over the minimum drinking age 
    • no evidence such as sources or court filings are mentioned.

3. Read laterally

  • Google @mousetrapnews
  • the About page admits they are a SATIRE website and  only write fake stories about Disney Parks 

4. Circle back

  • what might arouse your suspicion?
    • article explains the National Minimum Drinking Age Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan
    • the article asks the reader, "Didn’t think you would get a history lesson from us, did you?"
    • asks a follow-up question  "Now that we have set up the act, we have some Disney news to go with it.",
  • check another the user's Instagram account
    • "Real Disney News That is 100% Fake" and "The Onion Of Disney News".

image mouserap news social medi links

Lateral Reading Links


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