A huge number of fake profiles exist across the internet and although some are created for valid reasons - protecting the identity of a young gamer for instance - the issue we want to address is when people use fake profiles to garner trust or with bad intent.
According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2019, a record figure of approximately 2.2 billion fake accounts were removed by Facebook. As this is only the data for one social channel, it highlights the scale of the issue. As a result, every internet user needs to become adept at spotting friend from foe.
However, we believe that the fear of fakery shouldn’t keep people from enjoying the benefits of social media and that education is key to equipping children to play it safe online.
Using Natterhub, teachers are given access to lesson resources, fake news quizzes and fake profiles to safely introduce children to a world where not everything is as it seems. The fake news quizzes provide a great discussion point, encouraging children to spot fake aspects of a story and to identify the source of the news within their decision making.
The Natterhub Feed feature is a great way to continually test children’s perception of genuine and non-genuine posts. The feed closely replicates the real experience of social posts and interactions, so is an ideal sandbox for teachers to integrate fake posts and measure the response.
Fake profiles enable a teacher to post to the class feed under a different alias. The post could deliver fake news or ask a probing question. For example, incorrect use of an emoji can generate discussion on how this simple addition can change the meaning of a message. In this gated environment the children can see that it is the teacher shifting identity and recognise how easily this can be done. Questions can be asked under this alias that replicate the actions of scammers such as requests for photos, credit card number and address details. This roleplay empowers children to consider what they are seeing and to make a decision on how they would respond. These different online scenarios help to reinforce good decisions which the teacher can reward using the Badges of Honour.
The fake profiles are an effective way to get children thinking independently about what they do and don’t trust.
Trust in Natterhub to help guide children to be safe and savvy digital citizens. Start preparing your class to readily identify fake news and spot suspicious behaviour online.
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