The BBC has launched a new game specifically designed to educate young people on the dangers of fake news.
Developed by the Academy Award-winning studios Aardman, ‘BBC iReporter’ puts the player in the shoes of a BBC journalist on their first day in the job.
The interactive adventure asks players to tackle a number of major stories, asking them to make snap judgements about the reliability of the information they’re receiving and then how to push it out through the BBC’s various platforms.
In one example the player is asked to cover the moment a fictional chat app goes offline. They’re then tasked with looking at social media and choosing which posts they feel are accurate or acceptable to be shared with the wider public.
The game has been designed for 11-18 year-olds and can be used on desktop, mobile or tablet.
As you progress through your day you’ll be scored over three metrics: Accuracy, Impact and Speed.
While some decisions might increase your speed, they could come at the cost of pushing out information that hasn’t properly been fact-checked.
As such the game teaches players about the importance of balancing all three, making sure that the information that’s being pushed to the public is fast, unique and above all else, true.
So while you might think that a link looks safe or a tweet looks fair, the game will constantly challenge you to decide whether it’s better to publish something straight away or wait and have it fact-checked.
Fran Unsworth, Director, News and Current Affairs, said: “It’s vital people have access to news they can trust – and know how to distinguish between fact and fiction. Broadcasters and the rest of the news industry have a responsibility to tackle fake news, and I want to use the BBC’s global reach to lead the way.”
Fake news has become such a problem that both governments and social media companies have had to step in and take action.
Earlier this year the British Government announced that it would be creating a new unit specifically designed to tackle fake news.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the new national security communications unit would build on existing capabilities and would be tasked with “combating disinformation by state actors and others”.