Joel Breakstone – Thursday, October 4, 2018


The Challenge Bigger than Fake News 

Just in time for the November election, Joel Breakstone discusses the challenges of evaluating digital sources in the onslaught of Internet information.

With an election in November and the dark cloud of Russian interference still hanging over the US electoral system, the ability of citizens to assess the veracity of online information remains a critical issue. Fake news is certainly a problem. However, it’s not the biggest. The Internet is filled with content that defies labels like “fake” or “real.” Determining who’s behind information and whether it’s worthy of trust is more complex than a true/false dichotomy. Joel Breakstone, who directs Stanford University’s History Education Group, will discuss a report that revealed how a dismaying number of otherwise digitally fluent students were unable to evaluate the credibility of information they found online. He also will describe curriculum and assessments that his group has developed based on research about how professional fact checkers evaluate online content.

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