Nov 29, 2023

The “Disinformation” Fight Enters the Classroom

Blue states are taking the left’s crusade against online “disinformation” to the schoolhouse.
The “Disinformation” Fight Enters the Classroom

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What’s happening: Democrat-controlled states are adding “media literacy” courses to their K-12 curricula, allegedly aimed at teaching students to identify misinformation and hate online.

The programs: California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill mandating the inclusion of media literacy material in a number of public K-12 courses. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a “Media Literacy Tool Kit for K-12 Schools” to teach students “how to spot conspiracy theories, misinformation, disinformation, and online hate.”

  • More: Delaware, New Jersey, and even Texas are parts of a growing cohort of states requiring media literacy instruction in public school classrooms.

Why it matters: Left-wing institutions have long been sounding the alarm about “disinformation” and “online hate.” The alleged disinformation crisis has served as the pretext for crackdowns on speech and increased censorship online.

  • Re-education: Those who often call for online censorship also push for “fact-checking” and “education” programs in public schools. These programs are often transparently aimed at alternative news sources that compete with mainstream progressive narratives.

A dubious record: The fight against “disinformation” has included everything from Hunter Biden’s laptop to the COVID lab-leak theory, deemed to be disinformation by “official” fact-checkers and mainstream news outlets.

In their own words, Marc Berman, the California legislator who authored the state’s new media literacy law, made his priorities clear: "From climate denial to vaccine conspiracy theories to the January 6 attack on our nation's Capital, the spread of online misinformation has had global and deadly consequences."

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