How To Raise Digital Detectives

The increase in fake news is very high; there is so much information out there and anyone can literally post what they feel like. As parents and educators, we need to know how to raise digital detectives. Our children are digital citizens who will interact with a large quantity of information online. In addition, they will make decisions based on it and be influenced by it.

According to BBC, there has been an explosion in what has become known as deepfakes: pornographic videos manipulated so that the original actress’s face is replaced with somebody else’s. Unfortunately, deepfakes have become easier to create with the increase in the number of software that makes it possible.

digital detectives

Raising Digital Detectives

1. Where is the Information coming from?

Are you familiar with the site and have they written reliable news before? There are a lot of fake news sites create links with names of popular and credible news sites in order to drive traffic to their website. The first thing you want to do is check to make sure that the URL matches the site name. Additionally, read other news or articles on the website until you are satisfied that they are a reliable site.

2. Does the headline sound neutral?

If the headline makes you really sad or extremely angry or you burst out laughing at the exaggeration then you might want to verify the news before believing it.

3. Who wrote it?

Most “news” especially breaking news usually have authors. What you want to do is verify if the author is who they say they are and read other news or articles written by that author.


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4. Are there credible sources?

Did they let you know where they’re getting their information from? If they have sources, ensure that you can verify those sources. And if they mention names of prominent people, crosscheck to see if the person exists and if the person really said/could have said something like that.

5. Are images accurate?

To verify if images are accurate, you can use Google. It is important to check if the image has been used for a different news story. Because of the advent of Photoshop, you can’t always believe everything you see.

Some websites peddle fake news to drive traffic to their website. Although verifying news takes time, however, you don’t want any website to play on your intelligence. What this means is that you need to do some fact-checking and put on your detective cap.

5 Tips To Spot Fake News

Damaso Reyes in this video, five ways to spot fake news teaches what is needed to properly identify the validity of content online. Content without context is a dangerous thing and children who are more vulnerable need to go through training on an ongoing basis to be aware. As a news consumer, it is necessary to know what good journalism looks like.

[See parenting tips in the digital age]

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Read more about how Parents Winning In A Digital World and you can see here a list of 10 free educational websites for children.

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