COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- We’ve all spotted some sketchy articles on social media or in a google search. Well now a South Carolina lawmaker is trying to make sure some of the youngest social media and internet users don’t fall for the same gimmicks.
“Our children are facing unprecedented issues on social media and we need to just better teach and equip them,” explained Representative Seth Rose from Columbia, who filed the “media literacy” bill in November.
The proposal requires the state department of education to teach media literacy to SC students. The internet safety plans would focus on digital citizenship and the consequences of what you post online, as well as, give students the tools to make informed decisions on posts they may come across online.
Professor Augie Grant with the University of South Carolina’s journalism school, detailed the purpose of media literacy. “Media literacy is the process of helping people weigh the different sources so if they have conflicting ideas they can weigh which one is correct.” Professor Grant explained how bad information can lead to bad decision making.
“Our younger students and older students too are our most susceptible to misinformation and deception and fake news,” added Frank Baker, who has put an emphasis on media literacy in recent years.
The goal is to give students necessary tools to navigate all media sources to fact check information, but to also be aware of the dangers lurking online.
Representative Rose continued, “And also to understand the dangers of social media and that when you put something out there, it can have lifelong ramifications even if you’re posting at a young age.”
According to the department of education, students receive some type of media literacy education right now.
If this bill becomes law schools would have a digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety plan in use by the 2021-2022 school year.