MADRID’S Regional Ministry for Education has launched a school programme to teach the capital’s teens how to spot fake news as Spanish language disinformation continues to grow.
Fake news has become a global problem for tech companies, lawmakers, and the public. In the wild west of the world wide web, unscrupulous fraudsters have carved careers in deceiving and misleading the public – and the pandemic proved to be a gold rush for disinformation merchants.
According to research by Spain’s Panda Security company, 52 per cent of Spaniards were exposed to disinformation online during the lockdown. Over half were aged between 18 and 34 years old, and most fake news came in the form of social media content including articles, audio, videos, and photographs.
To combat the dangerous spread of disinformation, Madrid’s regional ministry for education has devised a classroom module to equip the city’s teenagers with the skills “essential to be able to discern what is false in the constant flow of information in which we are immersed.”
Students will be taught “what disinformation is, its various forms and consequences” as well as giving them the “processes and tools to verify information, photographs, videos, and social network accounts” to assess whether what they are reading is true or false.
Spanish language fake news content is spreading like wildfire across the net, with many agencies suspecting that disinformation campaigns are funded by foreign actors to disrupt the mainstream narrative and sow confusion into society. The public has been urged by the Guardia Civil and other groups to educate themselves on how to spot disinformation. In the cases of vaccine and Covid related fake news, the consequences of being misled could be fatal.
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