Indiana University recently released a new app to help prevent the spread of false information. The game lets users test their media literacy and train themselves to spot fake stories.
The app, called Fakey News, shows a fake social media feed full of articles from both real and fake media outlets. Users choose whether to share, like or fact-check an article after viewing a headline, photo and brief summary. After each selection, the player’s score will change based on whether they chose the right option.
The stories will change every time a user opens the app, and players can even click through to read the full articles after they’ve decided whether or not they’re credible.
Mihai Avram developed Fakey News as a graduate student at IU. He says the goal is to encourage players to consider how they consume news.
“We have to carefully craft it in such a way as to make the players feel like they’re making progress and also learning to identify misinformation,” Avram says.
Avram says he got feedback from journalism and media experts while developing the app to make it more realistic. He says he hopes the app will be used both recreationally and in a classroom setting. And he wants it to be a source for new research on media literacy.
“We want to use this information to kind of shed light on certain phenomena that no one is really studying right now, I think,” Avram says.
The game also includes leaderboards, so players can see how they rank against anyone else using the app.
The app is available to download on Android and Apple devices. While it can’t currently be installed outside of the U.S., Avram says he hopes to make it available in other countries soon.