Media Literacy Game for Detecting Viral Deceptions
NewsFeed Defenders, by iCivics and FactCheck.org, is a freemedia literacy game that engages students with the standards of journalism, showing them how to spot a variety of methods behind the viral deceptions they face today. To play the game, students join a fictional social media site focused on news and information, where they meet challenges to level up from guest user to site administrator. They can reach this level only by spotting dubious posts that try to sneak in through hidden ads, viral deception, and false reporting. In addition to maintaining a high-quality site, students are charged with growing traffic while keeping posts on topic. FactCheck.org also hosts lesson plans, misinformation directories, videos, and a teacher extension pack for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards.
In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students read or view a literary text, and then identify and discuss examples of propaganda techniques in the text. Students then explore the use of propaganda in popular culture by looking at examples in the media.
PBS affiliate WETA has made available a list of propaganda techniques that make false connections (such as the techniques of “transfer” and “testimonial”), or constitute special appeals (such as “bandwagon” and “fear”), or are types of logical fallacy (for example, “unwarranted extrapolation”).
The Mind Over Media web platform gives students aged 13 and up an opportunity to explore the subject of contemporary propaganda by hosting thousands of examples of 21st-century propaganda from around the world.