Classroom Connection: COVID-19 conspiracy theory outbreak

A baseless conspiracy theory about the COVID-19 pandemic migrated from fringe internet communities into more mainstream conversations last week, spreading dangerous doubt about the seriousness of the pandemic across the United States and around the world. The theory — that the pandemic is a staged hoax or “false flag” event — had emerged among anti-vaccination…

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Understanding COVID-19 data, part one: Comparing data across countries

This is the first of a three-part series presented by our partner SAS that explores the role of data in understanding the COVID-19 pandemic. SAS is a pioneer in the data management and analytics field. The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged us into a global public health crisis that has experts looking back 100 years for…

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Want to help others avoid COVID-19? Don’t share misinformation!

When a news event or a significant issue grabs hold of the public’s attention, it’s human nature for us to want to get our hands on as much information as we can as fast as we can. It’s also human nature to act on an impulse to share that information with friends, family and the…

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Twitter and Facebook act to stem COVID-19 misinformation

In the last week, both Twitter and Facebook have announced additional measures to combat the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes the disease. Twitter announced on March 18 that it would remove coronavirus-related content that goes “directly against guidance” from public health and government authorities, such as false…

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Classroom Connection: Practicing information hygiene

The parallels between the spread of the new strain of coronavirus and the spread of misinformation and confusion about it — between the actual pandemic and what the World Health Organization calls an “infodemic” — offer a number of important and urgent lessons in news and information literacy. Just as COVID-19 has thrown the weaknesses…

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Adams discusses coronavirus misinformation on NPR

Peter Adams, NLP’s senior vice president of education, talked with NPR’s Michel Martin about misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic on the March 14 edition of All Things Considered. He began by describing the types of misinformation being spread about SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. “This pandemic has brought out a really clear…

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YouTube’s efforts to restrain conspiracy theories has mixed results

A new study (PDF) shows that YouTube’s efforts to limit the reach of harmful conspiracy theory videos via its algorithmic recommendations have produced positive, but inconsistent, results. From October 2018 to February 2020, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley recorded more than 8 million “Up next” video recommendations made by the YouTube algorithm in…

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Classroom Connection: Bloomberg’s social media strategy tests the rules

The innovative and aggressive social media strategy of Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is testing the limits of newly established political advertising policies at social media companies. Earlier this month, the campaign paid people behind highly influential accounts on Instagram to post humorous memes supporting Bloomberg’s candidacy. In response, Facebook — which owns Instagram — said…

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Nominate a student for Gwen Ifill award

Are you an educator who has used the Checkology® virtual classroom this school year and have an outstanding young woman of color in your class who has particularly benefited from the platform? If so, we hope you will nominate her to be considered for a special award from the News Literacy Project: the Gwen Ifill…

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How to know what to trust: Seven steps

Misinformation comes at us every day, across a plethora of platforms and through myriad methods. It’s all part of an increasingly complex and fraught information landscape. But what exactly do we mean when we say misinformation? We define it as information that is misleading, erroneous or false. While misinformation is sometimes created and shared intentionally,…

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