Pa. bill: Students should learn how to spot fake news

03.06.17 | Bob Price

A state lawmaker says Pennsylvania’s schools should be teaching students how to spot fake news on social media.

State Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) introduced legislation this week that would require the Department of Education to establish a media literacy curriculum for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

Briggs says his proposal, House Bill 661, would prepare students with the critical thinking skills and knowledge to evaluate the accuracy of news stories for themselves.

“During this past election cycle, it’s undeniable that we saw a rise in fake news on social media that put misinformation out into the public sphere for the purpose of misleading voters,” he said in a statement.

Briggs said other states have introduced similar legislation and colleges are developing courses on spotting fake news.

“It is imperative the next generation of voters are able to ground their opinions in fact,” he said. “The goal of this legislation is to help Pennsylvania’s students recognize fact from fiction and avoid being misled on very serious issues.”