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Misinformation

Key Learning Objectives

  • Describe what misinformation is, why it exists, and how it can be harmful to others.
  • Correctly identify examples of misinformation.
  • Determine what action to take if you come across potential misinformation.

Just 4 steps to complete the episode!

  1. 1.Watch the short 3-minute animated video with the children. Play it a few times!
  2. 2.Discuss the video with the children using our conversation guide to help you.
  3. 3.Ask each child to complete the Kahoot! Quiz below.
  4. 4.Print the Activity Sheet - a fun homework activity for children.
It is strongly recommended that each episode is delivered by a parent or teacher to children for maximum educational impact.

STEP 1

What is Misinformation?

More Episodes

 

STEP 2

Conversation Guide

Useful questions and answers to guide you in conversation with kids

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Share some examples of misinformation you have seen online. How did you know it was false information?
It could be a photo, a video, pop ups with interesting stories for you to click and read, strange news stories from unusual websites, news channels or social media accounts that you’ve never heard of before. Maybe you came across something while looking something up for your homework, or news about a celebrity.

Ways to spot misinformation:

  • The photos appear to be edited or fake or a bit odd
  • It isn’t a source (website, account, user, etc.) that you know or trust and other trusted sources aren’t reporting the same thing
  • It sounds too good to be true
  • Spelling mistakes
Why do you think people create and share false information, news stories, photos, and videos online?
  • To make money, gain followers, or gain views. The more tempting the headlines on ads, links, or photos, the more likely that people will click them. The more visitors, views and followers to a website, the more money the website makes. This is called clickbait.
  • For fun (it could be a joke, a challenge they thought was funny or a trick).
  • To change your opinions or sway how you think about something.
How could misinformation be harmful when shared with others? Can you give examples of harmful misinformation you have seen?
  • People you share it with may think that it’s real. They may believe it and share it with even more people.
  • People you share it with may respond with negative feelings such as worry, anger, frustration, or fear.
  • People might act after reading misinformation which could cause them or others harm or loss. For example, they might take part in a risky or dangerous challenge or spend money they wouldn’t have otherwise.
What 5 skills do you need to spot misinformation?
  1. Listen to your gut; if something feels too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Ask questions to help you think things through.
  3. Research with a grown up to investigate it more.
  4. Don’t share it, if you discover something fake online, research instead to find out the facts.
  5. Report it (with help from a grown up).
What should you look out for in a story if you are suspicious?
  • Check that the website is secure.
    (A secure website has a green or grey lock and starts with https).
  • Find trusted websites to search for the same news, reviews, or comments (with help from a grown up).
  • Do an image search – right-click an image, select ‘search image…’.
  • Find fact checking sites to see if the news has been checked out already as fact or fake. To find them, search online for ‘fact checking websites’.

Additional information for facilitators:
What is a fact checking website?

With so much misinformation online, there are many organizations around the world that fact check news stories every hour of every day. Many of these are national trustworthy news stations who carry out this fact checking mission. They understand the importance of sharing only the facts with citizens and so they work hard every day to uncover myths, lies and hoaxes. All we must do is find those fact checking websites online.

CLOSE ALL
6. What would you do if you came across this online?
What kinds of questions would you ask yourself? Would you share it?

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6. Answer

Examples of questions you might ask:

  • ‘What is my gut telling me? Does this sound right?’
  • ‘Where did this headline come from? Who wrote this?’
  • ‘Does this photo look edited?’
  • ‘What have others said about this?’ If someone has a bad experience with the website it was created on, they might comment, review, and tell others.

Answer:
Research it with an adult if you are unsure. If it’s misinformation, don’t share it.

This is MISINFORMATION.
This is not a genuine photograph of a knitting gorilla, nor is it a genuine news story. The original photograph showed a gorilla named Mjukuu examining a poster at the London Zoo in 2009. It appeared in a 2009 article published by CNN entitled “Girl gorillas go ape for French pinup hunk”. You can do a quick search on a fact checking website to uncover the truth about this post.

Sources:
Top Crochet Patterns. “Gorilla Discovered Knitting at National Zoo.” 1 April 2016.
Hunt, Nick. “Girl Gorillas Go Ape for French Pinup Hunk.” CNN. 28 August 2009.

7. Would you share this with friends and family? Why or why not?

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7. Answer

Examples of questions you might ask:

  • ‘What is my gut telling me? Does this sound right?’
  • ‘Where did this headline come from? Who wrote this?’
  • ‘Does this photo look edited?’
  • ‘What have others said about this?’

Answer:
Research it with an adult if you are unsure. If it’s misinformation, don’t share it.

This is a TRUE event that was reported by Sacramento’s KTVU TV news.
Approximately 150,000 tomatoes were scattered across the highway when a large truck got into an accident, spilling the tomatoes everywhere. There were no injuries, but it caused heavy traffic and took several hours for workers to clear up the spill.


Photo: KCRA Aug. 29, 2022

Photo: KCRA Aug. 29, 2022

Source:
“Sac-a-tomato! Truck carrying tomato load overturns on I-80”
KTVU FOX 2, By KTVU staff, Published August 29, 2022

8. What would you do if a friend or grown-up shared misinformation with you?
  • People we trust may not be as careful as you when sharing things online. You may want to tell them that you’re worried this may not be true. Offer to work with them to research it.
  • If you think that they have shared misinformation, don’t share it with others.

STEP 3

Take the Kahoot! Quiz

STEP 4

Homework Activity Sheet

This is a fun homework activity for children to test their skills one more time, reinforcing what they have learned.

Download PDF – A4 size
Download PDF – Letter size

Did you like the Misinformation episode?

We would love your feedback! Our goal is to deliver the Cyber Academy program to as many children around the world as possible. If you have completed this episode with children at home or in school, then you are helping us reach our global goal!

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The Internet Safety Series for Kids age 7-10

2 NEW EPISODES and more episodes coming soon
Start an episode today!

Each episode consists of:

  • A short three-minute animated video
  • A conversation guide to support teachers/parents (It’s basically a Q&A for kids)
  • A Kahoot! Quiz to reinforce the learning
  • A popular and fun activity sheet; a great homework activity to engage all the family at home.
It is strongly recommended that each episode is delivered by a parent or teacher to children for maximum educational impact.

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