6812407093_fbf34b4ef4_z.jpgLast week, we started a day in class where my teacher showed us a Twitter post from a news site. The post showed a picture strange-looking flowers that are said to be from Fukushima, Japan. The Twitter post claimed that the mutated appearance of the flowers were caused by radiation leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plant after it was damaged from the 2011 tsunami. My teacher challenged my classmates and me to determine whether or not the news article was real or fake. We all voted our opinions and my teacher collected our results. After collecting our results, my teacher had us listen to a podcast discussing about the claims regarding the cause of the flowers’ mutation. From the podcast, we learn that this post was false because there was no actual proof that the radiation from the power plant was the cause of these mutations. The podcast led to another discussion about how students from various other schools were put through tests to determine whether they can determine the validity of news articles. We found that 80% of those students could not determine whether news articles held truth. While only 70% of our class was unable to realize that the Twitter post held false news, it was really shocking to realize how difficult it is for teenagers to distinguish facts and lies. I was one of the 70% of students in my class that thought that the Twitter post was real and I am ashamed that I was unable to realize it at first.

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