SPOT Fake News Online, a campaign from News Media Canada, is taking aim at disinformation online. (News Media Canada)

VIDEO: New campaign aims to help Canadians ‘SPOT’ fake news online

News Media Canada launches campaign to help readers sort fact from fiction

The organization that represents newspapers in Canada has a new tool to help readers distinguish fact from fiction online.

News Media Canada, of which Black Press Media is a member, launched a media literacy tool called SPOT Fake News Online, a four-part questionnaire readers can use when consuming news.

The four simple questions are:

  • S: Is this a credible source? Check the source of the article – and be skeptical.
  • P: Is the perspective biased? Think critically and look for varying viewpoints on an issue.
  • O: Are other sources reporting the same story? Be your own fact-checker and verify the validity of the story.
  • T: Is the story timely? Check the date the story was published. Sometimes, stories use old information to take advantage of a timely occurrence.

New Media Canada CEO John Hinds said the tool was designed to be straightforward enough for people of all ages to use it, with the help of media experts who focus on media manipulation and bogus news reports.

ALSO READ: Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

“Fake news is often used as an umbrella term for misleading, false or fabricated information,” Hinds said. “It can surface in different shapes, sizes and formats: from false stories, to manipulated photos or altered videos.”

According to recent polls by Ipsos, Earnscliffe Strategy Group and MIT researchers, nearly all Canadians have come across misinformation online, yet only 40 per cent feel they know how to identify it.

The polls also suggest 90 per cent of Canadians admitted to having fallen for fake news, and only a third of them regularly check to see if the stories they’re consuming are legitimate.

Hinds warnedthe tool won’t help those simply looking to debunk views they don’t agree with.

“The term ‘fake news’ is often used incorrectly, to discredit or dismiss information that people don’t like or agree with. SPOT Fake News Online is intended to help build citizens’ critical thinking and preparedness and increase their resiliency to disinformation,” he said.

The program is being funded through Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Initiative.

Meanwhile, non-profit Canadian Journalism Foundation has launched its own tool to fight fake news. The “Doubt It?” campaign is a collection of online quizzes and public service announcements from Canadian media personalities such as retired CBC host Peter Mansbridge.

– with a file from Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
[email protected]

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nuxalk College undertakes language digitization project

New tapes from over 50 years ago are set to be digitally transcribed

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Bella Coola under another winter storm warning

Freezing rain is expected by this afternoon

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky Nimpkish ferry sailing

The ferry docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Heiltsuk Nation calls probe into arrest of Indigenous man at bank ‘woefully inadequate’

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver on Dec. 20

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Most Read