Helping Children to Face Hoax News


Internet revolution has started since 1980. The advance of this technology help people to gain information across the world. Information flows rapidly. In the other side, this advantage can be manipulated as tool to spread untrue news. Social media activities without digital literalion can be seen as one of the factors that contribute to spread hoax news. Tirto stated that 1.002 adult respondents shared various news eventough they still doubt the truth in some of them. Common Sense Media survey in 2017 showed that 31% from 853 respondents were also not sure about the truth behind news they shared. It illustrates that however adults seen as more understanding party, still many of them do not have second thought to check the truth before sharing a news.

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Hoax defined as false information. Hoax news manipulate and plant doctrin, so the readers think and take actions according to this false informations. Most of the hoax news content are provocative and spread hate, doubt, insecure feelin.g, and worry. Hoax can be materialized as naration or meme that lead readers to have negative opinion toward other group in society.

This condition raised worrisome among parents. Moreover, children are fast learner. How hoax affect children development?

Making internet free world is impossible, because children now live in connection and information era. Parents should embrace this technology, so parents can have understanding and make themselves as co-learner together with their children. The task of the parents is to build immunity from these hoax news.

Children who drawn to hoax news will have false understanding, belief, or knowledges. It will do more harm if these children believe only in what they read and have extrim belief as results of hoax “brain washing”. Parents should try to develop children “scientific” thinking that they have curiosity to question the facts behind informations. Intelligence does not always a sole factor that determine an individu can recognized a true or hoax information. But it is more important to have critical thinking to face this phenomenon.

How can parents do that?
  • “Be there” parents for social media and internet matters. Parents can guide children if they give attention to what activities children engage in social media. Parents do not have to monitor children in an inch close, but through build warm communication. Children will feel safe to tell their experiences to parents without feel that they were spied. Doing activities related to social media or internet also can give opportunity to guide and share some values with children.
  • Discussion. Do not panic if children found and ask about news that contain hoax in it. It can serve as discussion time. Try to investigate together with children and ask what their opinion. Teach children some skills that needed to reveal the truth that lie in what they read such as find confirmation from experts, web or other medias we can find the expert, various source that we can rely on, and check the facts with parents or other adults.
  • Build positive values. If we easily believe in hate spread that hoax news bring, the we succesfully played. Teach children about love, altruism, trust, and avoid stereotyping and jump to conlusion thinking. Teach children to have open mind.

Laelatus Syifa Sari Agustina

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