Socitm blog

BBC to take on fake news

Though things like sexual harassment and cybercrime might feature higher on their list of online priorities, young people are going to be offered advice on how to identify the growing menace of fake news, curtesy of the BBC.

Early next year, the broadcaster will set forth into around 1,000 sixth forms and schools and help to educate students on deciphering what’s true and what’s absolute twaddle on the internet.

(Angry online reactionary conspiracy types, this is your cue to rush down to the comments section and bash out ‘THE BBC IS FAKE NEWWWWWWS ETC’.)

Some of the Beeb’s top journalists will be taking part in the exercise, including the softly spoken Huw Edwards.

According to James Harding, the BBC’s director of news: ‘This is an attempt to go into schools to speak to young people and give them the equipment they need to distinguish between what’s true and what’s false.’

And we wish them all the best with that.

Responding to a survey last month, 57% of Brits named the BBC as the one source they’re most likely to trust for news, massively thrashing all other outlets in the faith stakes (ITV came in second place with a measly 11%). Meanwhile, only 1% of those polled said they trust the ‘news’ in the poor old Daily Mail, a frequent, fevered critic of the BBC – which certainly cheered me up at the time.