This website is meant to be fun and silly, but there is some seriousness behind it. This page is an explanation of what that seriousness is about.
You may have heard the term “fake news” lately. It means misinformation, or intentional lies. For example, “chocolate covered hotdogs dipped in melted butter is a healthy food choice” is a lie. It’s also disgusting but let’s stay focussed here. If you read a news article on Facebook that said “Nine out of ten doctors recommend a breakfast of chocolate covered hotdogs dipped in melted butter”, that would be fake news.
Fake news is making a lot of adults quite concerned, worried and even angry. Citizens of some countries are becoming more and more divided in part because of fake news. Some people in important positions are deliberately spreading fake news to gain power. Inversely, some leaders are claiming “fake news” as a way of not taking responsibility when getting caught doing bad things.
Let’s be clear. There is always a bias or slant to the news we are told, whether we hear it on television or by a friend in the playground at recess. We might exaggerate parts of the story or leave out certain details. But the facts at the heart of a news story should be agreed on by everyone. One plus one is two. The earth is round. Bunnies are soft but evil. If facts are questioned, it creates doubt. If there is doubt, it creates mistrust. If there is mistrust, how do we then all get along?
Being able to tell what is true and what is a lie can be hard work at times. But it’s important to make an effort. Nobody likes to be fooled or used or disrespected. Luckily, we all were given a gadget to help us out. It’s called a brain and you can find it (usually) just above your mouth, behind your eyes and between your ears. Don’t poke it! It makes it angry. At the end of each chapter of A Child’s First Book of Lies, I’ve added one suggestion or tip on how to find out what you are being told is actually true or not. Some of these tips come from organizations or books that focus on teaching these skills.