George Mason professor teaches media literacy with hoaxes

21st Century Skills

George Mason professor teaches media literacy with hoaxes

Oct 3, 2012

JOKE'S ON YOU: Here's how George Mason history professor Mills Kelly teaches media literacy. "'We will work together as a group to create an online historical hoax that we will then turn loose on the internet to see if we can actually fool anyone,' wrote Kelly." His students have created stories that have fooled Wikipedia (but not Reddit) and provoked the ire of Jimmy Wales himself.We're delightedly amused at this intriguing piece from Brendan Fitzgerald, which examines the tradition of published hoaxes within the larger discussion over media transparency and credibility. While we agree that planting deliberate lies makes our job a little tougher, there's definitely value in its effort to challenge the largely assumed reliability of Wikipedia and other crowdsourcing efforts. It begs the question: are today's kids digital natives or "digital naives?"

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