Statement from the UK Safer Internet Centre
This year in the UK, Safer Internet Day explores reliability online. The internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we separate fact from fiction?
We know that the issues of misinformation and ‘fake news’ do not solely affect young people, but that these issues do have a great impact on how young people feel about their time online.
We want to help equip young people with the skills they need to spot inaccurate content, which can sometimes be a complex task. Once young people feel more comfortable separating fact from fiction it is important that we then help them to take the next steps in helping to create an internet full of trustworthy and reliable information.
Across the Junior School and Senior School, Safer Internet Day has become an annual event at Westbourne. This year, all students will be taking part in activities that will help our students learn to spot fake news. “Fake news” has become a normalised part of our online lives. It can sometimes be funny, but it can also be very dangerous. During the pandemic, fake news and fake information about causes, cures and the vaccine have spread quickly across the internet. The temptation to share a sensationalist story with friends causes fake news and information to spread faster than real news and information. So it is important for our children to develop the critical thinking skills to spot fake news and also understand the importance of not unwittingly spreading fake news themselves. We hope that our students will talk about these activities with friends and family and spread this message instead of spreading fake news.