An interesting but troubling story in today’s SF Chronicle about students, although internet savvy, can’t distinguish fake news stories from the real facts. You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/zpow9ye
When presented with a big, colorful chart sponsored by the oil company Shell versus a screenshot of an article from the Atlantic, high school students overwhelmingly argued that Shell’s post was the more reliable of the two “because it provided more data and information” than the article did. Only about 15 percent of students noticed the paid post
was sponsored by Shell and said the science article was the more trustworthy source.
This inability to evaluate information persists even after students are accepted to major colleges and universities — including Stanford, Wineburg said.
The “great majority” of college students tasked with evaluating information from the American College of Pediatricians, a conservative advocacy group that has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its vehement opposition to women’s and LGBT rights, were unable to suss out the group’s bias, even when given the chance to independently check the group’s credentials. Some even cited the professional-looking website of the organization as reason to trust its pseudo-science.