Finland targets lies as U.S. ponders problem

Finland has initiated curriculum to teach students how to identify false information and ranks first among European countries for resilience against misinformation. Students begin their education on media literacy starting in preschool. (The New York Times, January 10, 2023, by Jenny Gross)

Joshua Benton in NiemanLab, January 10, 2023, says a close look at lies in the media show that they mostly reach those already misinformed. He cites an article by Paul Renfro of Florida State and Mathew Stanley of Arkansas that argues that those err who view “historical falsehoods more as causes than outcomes of political change,” and it is a myth that better information can save democracy. Benton doubts that had the electorate learned about George Santos lies, that he would have been defeated. “After all,” writes Benton,” if the past decade has taught us anything, it’s that ‘exposing facts’ does not equal ‘changing people’s minds.’ If facts don’t care about your feelings, it’s also clear your feelings often don’t care about facts.”

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