‘Fake News’, ‘Filter bubbles’- what’s it all about?

Fake news icon‘Fake News’ – now many of us may have heard about this in the media, and it’s an important area not only when evaluating, researching and filtering the mass amount of information/news online but also if we share it too (e.g. social media – re post or re tweeting the news).  This online news can be global, national, local and even in your ‘personal circle’ and interests.  As information consumers we also are curators and how such information/news develops can have an impact in many respects especially if we choose to partake in any of the chain of events. The format of this information can take many forms – from text, videos, images,  articles, discussion boards etc. The immediacy of the internet easily allows us to access news online, whilst it’s still developing, happening and post the event. The ‘news’ can therefore be presented as either primary or as a secondary source. Digital critical literacy is a key skill  when dealing with  information, services and media online [Pause 😉 ] What is ‘fake news’ –  well fake news (in its many guises) is online information being in part or completely false or untrue.

See this short video below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Y-z6HmRgI&w=560&h=315]


What is a filter bubble? – “A filter bubble is an algorithmic bias that skews or limits the information an individual user sees on the internet. The bias is caused by the weighted algorithms that search engines, social media sites and marketers use to personalize user experience (UX)” (Whatis.com. reference and self-education tool about information technology. 01 Aug 2018 https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/filter-bubble accessed 01 Aug 2018).

It may be an interesting excercise to challenge your information filter bubble, read outside your bubble and further fact-checking in your ‘bubble’.

See this short video below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk1o2BpC79g&w=560&h=315]

Why does this all matter – it’s about questioning online sources and how information based on our personal use or preferences (sometimes without us consciously aware) can influence what is being presented to us . Question everything – be it  news, statistical data, articles, internet resources etc – if unsure about its credibility. It’s about applying the critical evaluation skills when developing your assignments, how we articulate and present such  arguments. Its also thinking  and being mindful about the relativity of information, sharing and partaking in online ‘news’ or information and how this reflects on our digital presence or identity on the internet.

Not everything can be covered in this blog post, but look out for a simple Libguide on this topic in the new academic session!

Download the checklist PDF on ‘how-to-spot-fake-news