Media literacy

Finland fights disinformation and teaches media literacy in schools

The fight against misinformation continues as ubiquitous internet connectivity and social media usage has become part of our daily lives around the world.

As the U.S. midterm elections fast approach, the battle to control online misinformation and ‘fake news’ is forcing regulators, lawmakers and the public to demand that tech companies do all they can to control it.

In Finland, the authorities have made the country’s education system a cornerstone to start teaching media literacy early.

As the BBC reported, Finland is considered a trustworthy society. An OECD report found that some 71% of the Finnish population trusts the government. Compare that to the OECD average of 41%.

It was a key part of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Markus Kokko, head of communications at the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, said: “Put simply, Finland has a comprehensive state-funded security model.”

The country’s National Emergency Supply Agency is one of the main actors in the fight against fake news in this country.

But it’s not just an agency and students learning media literacy. The country even had a fact-checking service called Faktabaari and several non-governmental organizations that help fight “fake news”.

As Finland moves closer to joining NATO and working with the United States and others to try to quell Russian aggression in Ukraine, this could foreshadow steps to work together so that U.S. lawmakers are inspired by how to better combat misinformation in the United States.

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