Debunked: How to tell fact from fiction
When: Tuesday, 21 September 2021; 11:00 – 12:30 IST
Debunked is a free workshop to help people identify misleading or misrepresented information and provide some tools and skills to separate fact from fiction
Misleading information can be intentional (think fake news) or unintentional (by not following accepted conventions). In turn, we share the information we encounter on WhatsApp or Facebook, believing it to be true only to realize later that it was wrong. Let’s be honest: it has happened to most of us.
Developments in technology led to a surge of information, including a change in how we present data - think graphs that fit on smart watches or phones. It takes us milliseconds to digest these graphs. But do we really know if we’re taking in the correct information? Even more critically, can we be sure that these infographics have been designed to present the information in a non-biased way. Our 90 minute Debunked workshop gives you some practical skills to use when you encounter information online, in particular images and graphs.
Data literacy skills are the tools we can use to correctly interpret information and recognise misleading information when we see it. In today’s ever more data and visual-driven worlds, these skills are crucial. However, they are rarely taught to most of us.
In an effort to tackle this universal problem ADAPT and Trinity College Dublin are running an informative, fun, and engaging public event to help people uncover these incidents of “fake news”.
Can you give me an example?
Sure take a look at this graph
At first glance, it seems that the KFC option contains only half the calories compared to its competitors. However, when we take a moment and a second look, we notice that the bottom line of the graph starts at 590 rather than 0. So what? Well this means that there is only a difference of 70 calories between the KFC option with 650 calories and the Burger King and Wendy’s options with 720 calories. Not twice the amount of calories which KFC would lead us to believe by using this graph. We were almost tricked into thinking that the KFC product was far lower in calories than its competitors which is simply not true.
We assume this infographic, and others we are bombarded with daily - on television, newspapers and online - are accurate in what they represent. We often don’t have the time or the inclination to take a second look and investigate further, making it all too easy to be misled. This workshop will give people the skills to recognise these instances of misrepresented and misleading information.
How will it work?
In line with current government guidelines, this workshop will take place over Zoom. The workshop will be a mix of activities and discussions.
We will apply data literacy skills by looking at common examples of misleading information. We will take the example of misleading information used in Irish social history and its impact as one common example. We will also discuss examples from other areas (e.g. climate change, science communication, etc.)
What do I need to take part?
You don’t need to have any background in Irish history, or even much practice with social media. We want to talk to people who are concerned about whether they're seeing the full picture, have an interest in how to tell fact from fiction or just curious about the whole thing!
Why should I do this?
You’ll learn how to assess, analyse and interpret data - an important 21st Century skill
Who is providing this?
Experts in computer science and social history from ADAPT, the SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology, and Trinity College Dublin are running these workshops
This project, called Debunked, is funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Trinity College Dublin is supporting this through their new Trinity East campus and planned development as part of the Grand Canal Innovation District.