Fake IT – Spot the fake news

1.5 hours

Short overview:

The workshop will support young people to understand how and why fake news are constructed and spread by media and information providers, and to make them aware of the negative consequences of spreading fake news/false information. Also, through the workshop games, the participants will get in the shoes of unscrupulous media and information providers, helping them to be more critical when accessing and analyzing information.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • To be aware of the importance of accessing information effectively and of evaluating critically and competently the information;
  • To understand how and why fake news are created and spread;
  • To be able to critically analyze information.
Methods: Individual work
Materials: Laptop Smarthphones Tablets
10 mins.

Ask the participants to go on the common closed/private Facebook group you should develop for the workshop session. Each of them will create a poll in the group, with the question: What is the fake/false information about me? The individual poll will include three facts about the participant that creates it, two being true facts, and one being a false fact. When all the polls are created, the other participants vote by choosing the fact they think is false.

Methods: Open discussions
Materials: Laptop Video-projector
20 mins.

Debrief the activity by asking the participants how they chose the false facts about the other partici- pants; talk about ways in which they could have investigated if the facts provided were true or false. Count how many false facts were correctly identified by the participants. Conclude with the main idea that information should be checked and evaluated always, and critically analyzed, and never accepted as it comes, as it is provided. Also, make participants aware that when one decides what is true or false without checking or critically analyzing the information, one could be the “victim” of his/ her own beliefs, values, stereotypes, etc. and biased in getting the information.

Also, discuss with the participants about how fake/false information could affect our lives. Ask them to give concrete examples.

Methods: Group work Presentations
Materials: Flipchart paper Markers
30 mins.

Split the participants into teams of 5-6 people. Their task will be to design a website that will spread fake and sensational news, with the purpose of making money by increasing their number of follow- ers, thus the income coming from online advertising. They will need to think about:

  • The title of the website;
  • The slogan of the website;
  • The type of audience they will target; —
  • The type of news they will publish.

At the end, each team presents its plan for the fake news website to the whole group.

Methods: Group work
Materials: Laptop Smarthphones Tablets
25 mins.

Split the participants in teams of three, and make them to compete by playing the online game Bad News: Each team has to play the game until they get at least two badges. The team that reaches with two badges the highest number of ‘followers’ and the highest rate on ‘credibility’ will win the competition.

The game will make them to play the role of an unscrupulous media magnate who drops all pre- tense of ethics and make decisions that will help him/her to get more followers and increase its credibility online. During the game, the teams develop actually a news site and try to reach audience no matter what.

Methods: Open discussions
5 mins.

Reflect with the participants on their gaming experience, on what they learned through the game, on how it was to be the “bad character” online, and on how they could spot from now on fake news.


Please share your comments, feedbacks, suggestions about this workshop here.