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Truth, lies and the internet: a report into young people’s digital fluency

Truth, lies and the internet: a report into young people’s digital fluency
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Surveys and Reports
New Technology; UK Education; Children; Education; Media literacy
This report by Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller, of cross-party think-tank Demos, examines the ability of young people in Britain to critically evaluate information they consume online. The report reviews current literature on the subject, and presents a new poll of over 500 teachers. It finds that the web is fundamental to pupils’ school lives but many are not careful, discerning users of the internet. They are unable to find the information they are looking for, or trust the first thing they see. This makes them vulnerable.

This report recommends that teaching young people critical thinking and skepticism online must be at the heart of learning. Censorship of the internet is neither necessary nor desirable; the task instead is to ensure that young people can make careful, sceptical and informed judgments about the internet content they encounter. This would allow them to better identify outright lies, hoaxes, selective half-truths, and mistakes, and better navigate the murkier waters of argument and opinion.

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