Media Literacy Council introduces fact-checking starter kit and curriculum to fight against online falsehoods

As part of efforts to combat online falsehoods, the Media Literacy Council (MLC) launched two new media literacy resources – the ‘Get Smart with Sherlock’ fact-checking starter kit and the News and Media Literacy Toolkit – for students, educators and the members of the public on Monday (11 March) at the Better Internet Conference, where experts shared insights into the latest trends on cyber challenges.

“Singapore is one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. Whilst the Internet has undeniably transformed the way people communicate and share information, it has also opened up new issues of digital responsibility and cyber governance in this borderless world. Digital literacy needs to be at the core of learning,” said Janice Richardson, Founder of Insight and the Safer Internet Day initiative.

Alluding to the world’s most famous fictional detective, the ‘Get Smart with Sherlock’ fact-checking starter kit informs and educates Singaporeans on online falsehoods and how to curb its spread, equipping them with the skills to discern fact from fiction. It will also be produced as a series of five easy-to-understand online articles, corresponding short videos as well as infographics.

Dr Carol Soon, the Vice-Chairman of MLC and Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore explained, “As Singaporeans become increasingly reliant on social media as our main source of information, we need to start cultivating healthy scepticism and question the things we read online. The ‘Get Smart with Sherlock’ series is designed to guide everyday folks n discerning falsehoods from reliable information”.

The kit will be translated into three vernacular languages later in the year and will be distributed to self-help groups and other interested community organisations.

As for the News and Media Literacy Toolkit, it is a collaboration between MLC and Common Sense Education – a leading US-based organisation that provides high-quality digital citizenship resources to educators and school communities to create a toolkit for youth to build their media literacy skills.

The new toolkit, which was sent out across secondary schools on Tuesday (12 March), is a series of lesson plans that will help students spot fake news. It also teaches them to discern between fact and opinion, through various scenarios and activities.

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