The New York City Department of Education will start enforcing the use of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook for school and district activities in an effort to curb what it calls “the spread of misinformation” and “distortions” on social media.
The move comes just weeks after the Trump administration rolled back Obama-era guidance to social media companies to allow students to participate in STEM classes.
“We believe that students need to be able to engage with teachers, teachers can engage with students, parents can engage,” DOE Assistant Secretary of Education Michelle Binder said during a press conference.
“It’s the job of educators to teach them the skills they need to succeed in the classroom.”
The move follows the DOE’s recent move to ban the use or promotion of fake or misleading science information on social networking platforms, citing concerns that students will get the wrong information from fake news.
But in recent weeks, students have been sharing misinformation about the Berkeley, California, lab experiment, such as a claim that the researchers injected rats with carbon dioxide to see if they died.
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Alex Bostrom, a science teacher at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
“There’s been a lot of misinformation out there.”
Bostram is one of the students who has posted the incorrect story about the experiment on social networks.
“If you’re going to spread misinformation, the only way to do it is by using the right tools,” Bostrams said.
“For example, if you want to spread this idea that the Berkeley experiment was a fluke, it’s going to take the right social media tools to do that.”
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