False information online
False information online is content that is purposely misleading or deceptive or just simply incorrect. It could take the form of a written article containing fake news, a manipulated image, a video that uses deepfake technology, or a combination of these.It can be created or manipulated for many different reasons such as for humor, to make someone look better or for politically motivated reasons.
Thinking critically about the information and people we come across online is a key digital life skill. It’s important children understand that not everything they read or see online is true and that information can be misinterpreted or misrepresented. Encourage your child to use good judgement and fact-checking skills so they know who and what to trust online and what to challenge or ignore.
False information can spread quickly across online networks. Information can be shared via bots, automated social media accounts resembling genuine users, through algorithms that curate our personal news feeds and search results, and through our friends, contacts or people we follow on social media.
Encourage your child to question what they watch and read and to check whether the information is supported by credible facts. Ask them to think about who created the content and why. Can the information be found independently elsewhere, for example on credible news websites?
Explain to your child how easy it is for people to pretend to be someone else online and why it’s important to avoid sharing personal information such as photos, or people’s names, address, school or phone number with anyone they don’t know.
If in doubt, ask a grown-up! If your child isn’t sure if something they’ve seen or read online is true, they should always check with you or another trusted grown-up. This could be a piece of information or a person they encounter online or a website asking them to re-share questionable content. One of the best ways to keep your child safe online is to stay in the loop, checking-in for regular chats. Our LEGO® Build & Talk
activities will help get you started.
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