Safer Internet Day - 9 February 2021
Parent and Carer information
SAFER INTERNET DAY 9TH FEBUARY 2021
“An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world”
Fake news and disinformation online
What’s the problem?
Fake news is false or misleading information presented as genuine news.
Fake news and disinformation have been linked to radicalisation by extremists and attempts to skew people’s world views. Extremist narratives relating to coronavirus include:
ïƒ˜ Antisemitic conspiracy theories blaming Jewish people for the spread of the
virus or suggesting it’s a ‘Jewish plot’
ïƒ˜ Claims that British Muslims have flouted social distancing rules
ïƒ˜ Anti-Chinese hatred
ïƒ˜ Isis-inspired narratives about how coronavirus is a divine punishment for the
‘sinful behaviours’ of the west
ïƒ˜ Extreme right-wing conspiracies that society is collapsing and far-right groups can accelerate its end
Reading information like this can upset or worry your child unnecessarily. Fake news also helps create a culture of fear and uncertainty, with children trusting reputable news
outlets less as a result of fake news.
How can I help my child spot fake news online?
Tell them to ask themselves:
ïƒ˜ What’s the source? Is it a reputable news source, and are mainstream news outlets reporting it too?
ïƒ˜ When was it published? Check the date an article was published, as sometimes old stories are shared on social media. This could be an accident, or it might be to make it look like something happened recently
ïƒ˜ Have you seen anything similar elsewhere? What happens if you search for it on Google or check it using a fact-checking website like Full Fact?
ïƒ˜ Do the pictures look real? Images might have been edited. They might also be unrelated images that have been used with the story
ïƒ˜ Why might this have been created? Could someone be trying to provoke a specific reaction, change your beliefs, or get you to click a link?
Encourage them to read beyond the headline too. Many people share stories having just read the headline, then discover the actual story is quite different.
What signs of radicalisation should I be alert to?
It’s worth knowing what signs to be alert to, just in case. If you do see these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean your child is being radicalised – it could be nothing at all, or it could be a sign that something else is wrong.
ïƒ˜ Becoming more isolated from friends and family
ïƒ˜ Not being willing or able to talk about their views
ïƒ˜ Becoming more angry
ïƒ˜ Talking as if from a script
ïƒ˜ A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
ïƒ˜ Being more secretive, especially about their internet use
If you’re worried about your child, please contact our Designated Safeguarding