One of the big stories of the 2016 presidential campaign was the role Facebook played in spreading false and misleading information about candidates. Let’s watch this video created at the time.
Play the following video for your teens [1:57]:
More fake news trending on Facebook
The company has made some changes since that time, but it is still under attack from the press, activists, users, and Congress for its failure to curb the proliferation of “fake news” on its platform. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, announced this fall that Facebook will not fact-check political advertisements or other statements made by politicians on Facebook in the 2020 presidential campaign.
- Have you ever fallen for a fake news story? What made you believe it? (Accept all reasonable answers. Most people have fallen for a fake news story, even if they haven’t passed it on by sharing it. Be prepared to share your own experience.)
- How did you find out the story was fake? Did it change the way you read “news” after that? (Hopefully when it happens to you, someone who knows better points out the error and you are more careful going forward.)
- How do you determine what is fact or fiction (in the news or otherwise)? (Students may learn these skills in schools, or not. A lot of fake news sites look like real news sites, so you have to pay attention and check it against other sources. This wisdom applies to other areas of life as well.)
There’s so much information—and misinformation—out there. It can be easy to be overly gullible or overly cynical, or just plain confused. It is important to find ways to stay alert and accurate. This applies to our faith, too. Jesus calls us to believe that He is who He says He is and shows us why we can trust that He’s truthful.