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Move over mythbusters

When it comes to coronavirus, it can be tricky to spot the difference between truth and misinformation. Can you learn to be a fact finder?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Device with access to the internet
  • A4 paper
  • Pens or pencils

Before you begin

  • This is a great activity to run during an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • Set up your video call on your chosen platform and send out the invites. Consider having a test call beforehand to make sure everything is working.

Fake news

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that while we’re all dealing with a pandemic, we also have to fight through all of the information coming our way too. There’s a lot of information, and not all of it is true or reliable: some people call this the ‘infodemic’ and it can be tricky to spot what’s true and what’s not.
  2. Everyone should take their first piece of paper, choose a fact about COVID-19, and create a public information poster.
  1. After the real poster is complete, everyone should take their second piece of paper and create their second poster. This time they should use a myth about coronavirus.
  1. Once all the information posters are finished, everyone should come back together. Someone should start by holding up both of their posters.
  1. Everyone should try to guess which information poster is the real one and which is made up.
  2. Everyone should take it in turns to share their posters so people can guess which one shows a fact. Everyone should make sure that they tell the group the answer so no one’s left confused.
  3. The person leading the activity should help everyone understand what they can do to help figure out the facts, for example, thinking about where the information’s come from, looking at the whole thing (not just the headline or pictures), and thinking about the supporting evidence.

Reflection

Why is it so important to look out for fake or wrong information? It’s important that people know the truth, but sorting the fact from the fiction can help stop the spread of misinformation too. Everyone can play their part by choosing not to share things they’re not sure about. People could think about how not sharing misinformation is part of caring for other people. Everyone has a responsibility to help protect and take care of the people around them – they can do this by protecting them from coronavirus (through things like washing their hands, covering their face, and making space) and by stopping the spread of false information too.

Safety

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.