The fake news “crisis” points to a complex set of circumstances in which new media ecologies struggle to address challenges related to authenticity, rhetorical manipulation and disinformation, and the inability of traditional educational models to adequately teach towards critical information literacy. While social media sites such as Facebook acknowledge the culpability of their platforms in spreading fake news and create new strategies for addressing this problem, such measures are woefully inadequate. Wikipedia, now in its 18th year, however, has developed numerous practices and policies to ensure information validity and verifiability. This talk will explore the connections between participation in the Wikipedia community, the development of critical information literacies, and the ability to navigate the difficult and complex current new media landscape. Through illustrating how the Wikipedia community’s practices combat misinformation and disinformation, this talk will connects the practices and engagement with the Wikipedia community to a pedagogical practice that suggests that not only can individuals learn from the community practices, but also that individuals can be motivated by participation in the larger Wikipedia project: “free access to the sum of all human knowledge".
14:00 - 14:15 registration
14:15 - 15:45 Presentation by Dr. Zach Mc Dowell
15:15 - 15:45 Q & A, Discussion
Zachary McDowell is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Communication. His work intersects with areas of information access and equity, digital literacy, security, public policy, and digital culture. His current work examines disinformation and information literacy, focusing on Wikipedia, as well as issues around discriminatory information practices. Zach is a founder and Editor of the Open Access journal communication +1.