Today marks the most important day in our calendar year at Digital Awareness UK, Safer Internet Day. Schools around the world will unite to celebrate a day that has been designed to achieve what we campaign for every day of the year - helping people to use the internet safely.
The theme for this year is 'exploring reliability in the online world', a topic we think is more important to address today than at any other time in our history (so we've created a little fake news jargon buster at the end of this post to test your knowledge on the topic).
In the last year we've seen our security and democracy come under threat as a tsunami of scams and fake news gave rise to a pandemic in itself, which we continue to fight. People who watched The Social Dilemma must be wondering if Netflix had a crystal ball when they sounded the alarm on the dangerous human impact of social networking on democracy and a few months later the Capitol riots descended on Washington.
"Anyone who knows us at Digital Awareness UK will know that we are ever-optimistic that about the positive role technology will play in the lives of future generations. We believe that we'll come out the other side of this dark and muddy phase of the digital revolution with a fine-tuned ability to syphon out the 'reals' from the 'fakes."
In the meantime, fake news is travelling six times faster than real news and it's critical that young people are able to confidently to flex their critical thinking muscles when 'exploring reliability in the online world'.
For those of you who want to know their 'misinformations' from their 'mal-informations', here's a few fake news jargon buster to test your knowledge:
- What's dark pattern? A user interface that's designed to trick people into doing things they didn't intend to on websites and apps eg. purchase something
- What's a filter bubble? A space where our previous online behaviour such as our search history or social media 'likes' influence what we see online
- What are deepfakes? The use of artificial intelligence to seamlessly swap or digitally alter someone's face in a video
- What are echo chambers? An environment where a person only encounters information or opinions that reflect and reinforce their own
- What's confirmation bias? Actively seeking out information that confirms our beliefs rather than challenging them
- What's junk science? Scientific data, research or analysis that's considered to be spurious or fraudulent
- What's misinformation? False, misleading or out of context material that has been communicated regardless of an intention to deceive
- What's disinformation? A deliberate attempt to mislead people using information that the deceiver knows is untrue
- What's mal-information? Information that is based on reality and used to inflict harm on a person, social group, organisation or country
And don't forget that we have a host of resources, all designed to empower young people to use the internet safely and responsibly.
Happy Safer Internet Day from all at Digital Awareness UK.