Disinformation is a pervasive threat

According to the Globe and Mail, at a meeting of G7 Security Ministers, Canada’s Marco Mendocino said disinformation is ‘one of the most pervasive threats to all our democracies right now’ and more needs to be done to raise awareness and equip Canadians to navigate its dangers.

“He said he supported educating high-school students on how to spot disinformation, as well as fraudulent e-mails and texts and online scams, alongside consumer education.”

Recall, last February, I wrote “Testing Democratic Freedoms”, and asked “Shouldn’t more effort be focused on teaching critical thinking, teaching school kids how to process information online, including checking and verifying ‘news’ and ‘facts’ being shared on social media?”

I referred to an approach that is being used in Finland, and said “Investing in digital literacy in kindergarten and primary schools means playing the long game. But, aren’t critical thinking, and digital literacy, among the most needed skills to better prepare the country for life in the digital information age?”

The Globe article says that Canada plans to host a G7 Summit on the subject next year.

He invited ministers from Britain, the United States, France, Japan, Germany and Italy to come to Canada with “the brightest minds from our countries to figure out how we can get ahead of the curve.”

Canada should look beyond G7 members and include Finland to learn from their experience.

As Twitter begins to restore accounts that had been suspended for sharing misinformation, there is an even greater urgency.

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