Use critical thinking to combat fake news: American professor

Use critical thinking to combat fake news: American professor

Prof Steven Reiner of Stony Brook University. (stonybrook.ed)

In this digital age, you are in charge of determining what is reliable and what is not."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Critical thinking and critical judging ability must be used as the most effective tools to combat fake news, Steven Reiner, professor of broadcast and digital journalism at Stony Brook University said.

"In this digital age, you are in charge of determining what is reliable and what is not," he said in a workshop held by American embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday.

In this case, Reiner also raised concern on the role of journalists whose duties are currently getting tougher, since they are required to work faster, that they often do not have enough time to double check the accuracy of the information.

Thus, according to him, digital media literacy must be improved so that people will learn how to counter fake news in an active way by, most importantly, looking at multiple sources than only a single source to check the truth of a story.

People can also use the fact checking website such as Snopes.com or fact check feature provided by social media company such as Facebook.

Fake news has become a global phenomenon for specific purposes such as making money, as a tool for propaganda, and political partisanship.

Indonesia has been facing this phenomenon since 2014 when there was a spread of black campaign in the presidential election participated by the current President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his competitor former military general Prabowo Subianto.

Indonesian government and the Press Council have been attempting to combat the disseminating of fake news, for instance, by implementing the Electronic Information and Transactions Law; blocking gambling websites and sites containing fraudulent information regarding different ethnic, religious, racial, and social groups; as well as checking the reliability of media companies.

However, such efforts seem not enough to address this issue because the quality of our public discourse would continue to deteriorate, according to 8 thousand scholars, technology experts, and government leaders, who were responding to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world,.

Thus, we can expect that the era when people can easily disseminate fake news will last longer.
(T.Y013/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR)

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