In a move of admirable self-criticism—one I feel sympathetic to as myself a card-carrying member of the American critical new media left—danah boyd asks “did media literacy backfire?”

“Addressing so-called fake news is going to require a lot more than labeling. It’s going to require a cultural change about how we make sense of information, whom we trust, and how we understand our own role in grappling with information. Quick and easy solutions may make the controversy go away, but they won’t address the underlying problems. What is Truth?”

boyd continues:

“The path forward is hazy. We need to enable people to hear different perspectives and make sense of a very complicated  —  and in many ways, overwhelming  —  information landscape. We cannot fall back on standard educational approaches because the societal context has shifted. We also cannot simply assume that information intermediaries can fix the problem for us, whether they be traditional news media or social media. We need to get creative and build the social infrastructure necessary for people to meaningfully and substantively engage across existing structural lines”

For More Sense-making:


Mike Caufield, in his online book Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, writes:

The web gives us many such strategies and tactics and tools, which, properly used, can get students closer to the truth of a statement or image within seconds. For some reason we have decided not to teach students these specific techniques. As many people have noted, the web is both the largest propaganda machine ever created and the most amazing fact-checking tool ever invented. But if we haven’t taught our students those capabilities is it any surprise that propaganda is winning? … we’ll teach you web literacy by showing you the unique opportunities and pitfalls of searching for truth on the web. Crazy, right? This is the instruction manual to reading on the modern internet. We hope you find it useful.

firefoxscreensnapz002This powerful resource was shared with me by Eileen Clancy and Lee Skallerup Bessette.

See other literacy tools, #100hardtruths-#fakenews: