With increasing fake news around coronavirus and levels of reporting causing concern and confusion, children and young people may find it harder to separate fact from fiction.
To help them make sense of what they see online and how this can impact their lives in the real world, here are five tips to empower them.
Often children will rely on family and friends to fact check what they are seeing online, so it’s important to have conversations about the issue to help them feel confident that they have the right information, and to stop them from believing false claims or dangerous myths
More and more of us are getting our news from social platforms rather than traditional media outlets. So, encouraging children and young people to check the source of the posts and the credibility of the news they see online to build their critical thinking is key.
Here are simple ways to check the information is reliable:
It can be tempting to share something that is shocking with others but it may cause more people to be misled into believing something is true when it’s not. So cross-checking with other sources and questioning why this information is being shared is important.
If your child comes across news that they feel is fake or causing them to feel uncomfortable, together, get them to use the tools on the platform they use. They should mute, block and report profiles, posts and information that may be triggering and unverified.
If they are feeling anxious or distressed by listening or seeing news around particular issues, encourage them to switch it off and point them towards doing something that they enjoy to take their mind off it and reassure them that they are safe.
See related advice and practical tips to support children online: