“That can’t be true! » : How to improve your digital literacy | Gazette

These days, everyone turns to online resources and social media for answers, but it’s hard to know if the information there is accurate. Indeed, we hear more and more about disinformation and fake news, two phenomena whose repercussions on election results are even scientifically analyzed.

However, the potential damage of bad information is really scary. This is why we have every interest in developing our “digital literacy”. Digital literacy is a mix of intellectual curiosity, awareness that there are different perspectives, and open-mindedness.

Elizabeth Dubois, holder of the University Research Chair in Politics, Communications and Technologies and associate professor in the Department of Communication of the Faculty of Arts, has made it her goal to help people acquire, through its research and the Pol Comm Tech virtual lab, the tools needed to question the information offered to them online, or relayed by everyone over a drink.

Act on what is within our reach

Let’s start with the most obvious: strength in numbers. If you come across hate speech or harassment on social media, feel free to report it to the platform. The latter have terms of use and community rules, and people have the task of moderating the exchanges. Even if the content is not taken down immediately, the reports send a clear message: this is not the kind of thing the user community tolerates! If enough people express a desire to see more polite exchanges and more positive content, the platforms will eventually recalibrate their algorithms and community rules.

sortir de sa bulle

It is important to understand that media systems and digital platforms use their algorithms to present content that is likely to make people react, in order to keep them in a comforting bubble. To avoid this biased point of view, Professor Dubois recommends consulting several communication and information channels. You will then have “less risk of ending up in a kind of echo chamber, a space where you always hear the same things”. According to her, it is therefore “not necessary to make great efforts to get out of it; a little proactivity is enough. »