Tue 6 Apr, 2021

Recent reports have confirmed that we are a target of deliberate disinformation campaigns from hostile states such as Russia, so we cannot afford a failure to act now. Ross Greer

In a first for a Scottish Parliament election, the Greens are set to unveil a suite of policies designed to tackle the growing problem of fake news and disinformation.

The policies, included in the party’s upcoming election manifesto, include proposals to set up an independent office to coordinate efforts aimed at tackling disinformation and an aim to replicate the success of Finland’s efforts at integrating media literacy and critical thinking into their school curriculum.

Scottish Greens education and media spokesperson Ross Greer said:

“The spread of fake news and disinformation is a direct threat not just to our democracy but to our very health and safety. We’ve seen the damage done elsewhere by the spread of malicious conspiracy theories about covid vaccines, 5G technology and other entirely positive developments. Scotland is not immune to this. Recent reports have confirmed that we are a target of deliberate disinformation campaigns from hostile states such as Russia, so we cannot afford a failure to act now.

“Countries such as Finland are seeing a lot of early success from teaching their children media literacy, critical thinking and an ability really really interrogate what they are being told, particularly online. Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence suits exactly this kind of approach, so the Scottish Greens are proposing the rapid development of curricular resources and a training programme for teachers.

“Of course, children and young people are not the easiest victims for those who spread fake news. That’s why we’re proposing public awareness campaigns aimed at adults and the creation of a new independent office to coordinate efforts aimed at tackling this problem head on. We only need to look across the Atlantic to see the damage that lies and conspiracy theories can do to large sections of a population in a very, very short space of time.”

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