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TACKLING

fake news

Workshop “Educația deschisă”


#OEWeek #OEWeekTimisoara
Laura MALITA Gabriela GROSSECK
laura.malita@e-uvt.ro gabriela.grosseck@e-uvt.ro

@lmalita - Twitter, Instagram, Slideshare etc. - @ggrosseck


Why this subject now?
Fake News Types
1. satire or parody ("no intention to
cause harm but has potential to fool")
2. false connection ("when headlines,
visuals or captions don't support the
content")
3. misleading content ("misleading use
of information to frame an issue or an
individual")
4. false context ("when genuine content
is shared with false contextual
information")
5. imposter content ("when genuine
sources are impersonated" with false,
made-up sources)
6. manipulated content ("when genuine
information or imagery is manipulated
to deceive", as with a "doctored" photo)
7. fabricated content ("new content is
100% false, designed to deceive and
do harm")
Claire Wardle
FactCheck.Org
PolitiFact.com
Snopes.com
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/fake-news
We are at WAR. An Information War
Fake Information on Academia??
Foto: : Coralia Sulea
Spotting fake / bad scholars
1. PREDATORY PUBLISHING (journals or
conferences): “predatory” for-profit open
access publishers
• In some cases criminal actors go so far as to
create fake incarnations of real journals to
steal submission fees.
• Even the peer review process itself is
increasingly under attack with fake reviewers
and even “peer review rings.”
Spotting bad scholars
2. ACADEMIC FRAUD: Even in publications that
are not predatory, some academic publications
still contain false or misleading information.
* sometimes even fake papers slip through the
supposedly rigorous peer-review process
3. MISLEADING STATISTICS. Data Leaks (real
data mixed with untrue or biased data). When
statistics are manipulated or misused, they can
make fake news even more powerful
(See the MOOC from Future Learn, Making Sense of
Data in the Media)
Spotting bad scholars
4. FAKE POLL. If there isn’t something on the
website that tells why the pollster is conducting
the poll, something is probably up.
5. ACADEMIC INACURANCIES. Review process is
been hijacked by fake reviewers ->Diluting
academic literature.
6. USE specific tools to choose journals to
publish/conference to attend:

See also Beall’s list of predatory journals


and Caltech Library’s list of predatory
approach in tackling …
A1. TACKLING FAKE NEWS
IN A DIGITAL LITERACY CURRICULUM

the first Romanian academic study


on students’ perceptions about fake news

(PILOT)

to be presented at the 14th International Scientific Conference “eLearning and Software for Education”, Bucharest, April 19-20, 2018
short bio-data

• October-December 2017
• WUT LMS (online questionnaire
// ONLY 10 questions)
• 250 respondents, 1st year (39
M, 211 F)
• Two specializations:
Communication Studies and
Psychology

The purpose of the study was to gather information on


ways in which students perceive what fake news are
and to identify their habits and practices when they
have encountered doubtful content.
Research questions:

How students perceive and understand the


concept of doubtful content?
(clickbaits headlines, false or biased information online, deceptive advertising, satirical websites etc.)?

How well the students


can research?
Do they know how to evaluate such information?
Do they distinguish between real and fake
news? What are they research skills and
abilities?

Is there a need for


training
students on this topic?
A2. Increased information / digital literacy
education (training)

New specialization Transversal disciplines


starting 2018-2019 academic “Evaluating information
year WUT offers the credibility and fighting against
programme “Digital Media” at fake news and content”
bachelor level
A3. Organization of different events on fake news
topic (workshops, lectures, conferences etc.)

Moise GURAN
30 January 2017

Denisa RIFAI International student event approaching the topics of DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP and
FAKE NEWS in European context.12 December 2017
16 May 2017
A4. Awareness of fake news topic through the WUT
promotional materials (newsletter, Facebook page)
A5. Integrating fake news topic
in the syllabus of different disciplines (piloting the transversals)
Political life in the digital era – from google to fake news

Bogdan Nadolu, The Sociology of politics (Sociologia politicului)

The universe of fake online content: who and why is producing it, which contexts

Laura Malita, The evaluation of information credibility and online content


(Evaluarea credibilității informațiilor și a conținutului online)
A6. Encouraging academic writing on fake news
in master / doctoral thesis

Master thesis
A7. Integrating
MOOCs about fake
news in academic
courses
https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy

https://classroom.google.com

See Holotescu et al. (2014) Integrating MOOC in Blended Courses


B. Next steps
• Academic Fake News Observatory (research,
reports, studies, guides etc.)
• OER library
• Short courses f2f for teachers
• Opening the MOOC on fake news this spring
• Partnership with industry
• Students’ high school specific activities:
(online)courses, workshops, camps etc.

https://west-university-timisoara.teachable.com/p/fake-news
Thank you for your attention!

With the support of the ERASMUS+, 575370-EPP-1-2016-1-RO-EPPJMO-MODULE


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only
of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information
contained therein.