Social Media and Ferguson

How can social media help or hinder civil dialogue? How can information shared on social media be verified? As the investigation of media reports of the events surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown continues, class members read news articles and social media posts, and watch videos that bring into focus the difficulty of verifying the validity of posts.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups investigate other instances where social media posts were a factor in breaking news events, the 2016 after-Christmas mall riots, for example
  • Review the class contract for discussion before launching the lesson
Classroom Considerations

  • The sixth in an 11-resource case study of the social media and professional news reporting of the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer
Pros

  • The materials present a balanced view of the benefits and pitfalls of getting news from social media
  • The activities model how to evaluate the veracity of post
Cons

  • None