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Fact Checking, Verification & Fake News

Behavioral Economics & Social Marketing - changing behavior through education

We can empower students and readers through education/advocacy about the need for truth in politics, and the efforts to use fake news to destabilizer our democracy, so that they change the way they engage with news, and take steps to verify what they read and share:

From Towards a Post-Lies Future: Fighting "Alternative Facts" and "Post-Truth" Politics  by Gleb Tsipursky in The Humanist.

Since ancient Greece, truth in politics has been vital for a democracy to function properly. Citizens need to care about and know the reality of political affairs, at least in broad terms, to make wise decisions regarding which politicians and policies to support. Otherwise, what reason do politicians have to care about serving the true interests of the citizenry? They can simply use emotional manipulation and lies to procure and stay in power, paving the way for corruption and authoritarianism

Indeed, truth in politics is a common good just like clean air and water, and the pollution of truth will devastate our political system just as environmental pollution devastates our planet and our physical health. Fortunately, we can learn from the successes of the environmental movement. It started with small groups of motivated and informed people engaging in sustained education and advocacy. As a result of these efforts, regular citizens increasingly changed their everyday behavior through recycling, repurposing, and composting, while politicians passed pro-environmental legislation such as the Clean Air Act

The protruth movement will require early advocates to act from the same kind of marginalized political position as early environmental activists, fighting both against the political status quo and the tendency of our brains toward lazy thinking.