Tackling fake news

and misinformation

Get expert tips to support children



What you’ll find in this section

  • Learn about fake news
    Get insight on what fake news is and the impact it can have on young people.
    5 -10 minute read
  • Protect your child
    Get practical tips to empower your child to recognise what fake news is and how to stop the spread of it.
    5 -10 minute read
  • Deal with fake news
    Learn what conversations to have with your child if they have seen or spread fake news or misinformation online. You’ll also find ways to report it to stop the spread of it online.
    5 -10 minute read
  • Resources
    See tech tools and organisations that can offer support for you and your child.
    5 minutes read
  • NEW | Find the fake family quiz
    Use the quiz to test children and young people's knowledge of fake news and misinformation
    15 - 30 minute read
  • Partnership
    This advice hub has been created in partnership with Google. Learn more about our partnership and other digital safety initiatives that they are doing to help families develop good digital habits online.
    5 - 10 minute read

Improving critical thinking to recognise fake news

The internet and social media have changed the way we learn about the world around us. With so many sources of information, it can be hard to keep up with what is real and what is fake online.

Increasingly, those creating ‘fake news’ (disinformation and misinformation) are making it more difficult to spot. At times even well-established news organisations find themselves reporting on stories based on false information gathered through social networks which originate from a fake post (an example of this is the Blue whale challenge).

While having access to information is vital, the increase of fake news online, particularly around the COVID-19 pandemic, has made it more urgent to help children and young people develop their critical thinking to spot the difference between fact and fiction online.

From research, we know that only 2% of children and young people in the UK have the critical literacy skills they need to tell whether a news story is real or fake. [Source]

Explore our fake news and misinformation advice hub to learn more about what fake news is, how to protect your child from it, and how to deal with it if they have been affected by it.

What the research tells us

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Over a third, (34%) of parents said they were concerned fake news and misinformation would make their children worried or anxious.

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Parents put schools as the most trusted source of information.

*Source: Research was commissioned by Internet Matters as part of its Impact Tracking by third-party research partner Opinium in October 2020, who surveyed 2,006 UK parents.

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Internet Matters Ambassador Dr Linda Papadopoulos shares advice to support children’s critical thinking
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