Tuesday, February 26, 2019

#Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report published #infolit

The UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published its final report on Disinformation and ‘fake news’. It does not talk about information literacy, but does refer to digital literacy (although that didn't feature in the headlined highlights). They say that "The majority of our witnesses stressed the need for greater digital literacy among users of social media. Ofcom has a statutory duty to promote media literacy, which it defines as “the ability to use, understand and create media and communications in a variety of contexts”. Sharon White told us that their focus on digital literacy is from a research base, “about how children use and understand the internet and similarly with adults”. We cannot stress highly enough the importance of greater public understanding of digital information—its use, scale, importance and influence"

There is a recommendation on Digital Literacy, where they observe "As we wrote in our Interim Report, digital literacy should be a fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths. In its response, the Government did not comment on our recommendation of a social media company levy, to be used, in part, to finance a comprehensive educational framework—developed by charities, NGOs, and the regulators themselves—and based online. Such a framework would inform people of the implications of sharing their data willingly, their rights over their data, and ways in which they can constructively engage and interact with social media, Disinformation and ‘fake news’ sites. People need to be resilient about their relationship with such sites, particular around what they read and what they write. We reiterate this recommendation to the Government, and look forward to its response. (Paragraph 312)"

Another recommendation which could be linked to information literacy is "We recommend that participating in social media should allow more pause for thought. More obstacles or ‘friction’ should be both incorporated into social media platforms and into users’ own activities—to give people time to consider what they are writing and sharing. Techniques for slowing down interaction online should be taught, so that people themselves question both what they write and what they read—and that they pause and think further, before they make a judgement online."
The report is at https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/digital-culture-media-and-sport-committee/news/fake-news-report-published-17-19/
CILIP has published a response to the report: https://www.cilip.org.uk/page/Fakenewsdisinformation
Photo by Sheila Webber: mist on Blackheath, February 2019

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