#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | ‘Fake news’ badge introduced by Scouts to reward youngsters who warn their friends about online dangers

The scouts have been given three top tips for spotting fake news: Look at the source, ask questions and evaluate the evidence.

Under particular scrutiny are celebrities and social media sites. Advice says: “Does that source have any vested interests? Are they making money from it? Are they selling something? Why are they making this claim? 

“It doesn’t always mean the claim is dubious, but it’s a good place to start. It’s particularly important for channels like Instagram, where lots of celebrities get paid to promote a product. They won’t necessarily look at the evidence, but they’ll say that it’s effective for a fee.”

There are 638,000 scouts in the UK, with over a quarter (182,000) being female. Scout volunteers contribute more than 30 million hours of work each year to their local communities.

While they will continue to promote outdoor activities such as orienteering, a spokesperson told the Telegraph: “Society has changed since 1907 when we started. We need to equip young people to live an active, positive life in 2020.”

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls said: “I am very proud to relaunch the Digital Citizen Badge, so it’s fit for purpose in rapidly changing digital world. I am known for being able to survive in the wild but it’s just as important that young people today have their wits about them when online. Taking part in this badge will help Scouts of all ages make good online decisions. Scouting is all about helping young people develop skills for life and this badge a really good example of our approach to youth work.”

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