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We’re the Kids in America: Social Media Fact-Checking Guide For the 21st Century

Purpose + Intended Audience

The intended audience is targeting people of all genders from the Millennial and Gen-Z generations. Clueless was a phenomenon in the 90s which has resurfaced and become popularized again throughout social media—but remains a recognizable piece of pop culture. (Who can forget the iconic intro to Clueless featuring the song ‘We’re the Kids in America‘?)

A Pew Research study from 2021 states: “Demographically, younger Americans and women are more likely than older Americans and men, respectively, to get COVID-19 vaccine news and information on social media.”

The strategy was to target younger Americans with imagery that is easily recognizable and fun to entice people of the targeted age group to click, view and share on multiple platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I created two different kinds of content— one a flowchart for the target audience to have a step-by-step guide to help with fact-checking (I particularly like flowcharts because it makes something that may be overwhelming to some, seem simple.) The other is a fact-checking guide which details how and what to do when encountering a potentially false claim/rumor or image.

The fact-checking guide has two different versions as well— due to the different dimension requirements from Twitter and Instagram—one is longer and easy to upload on Twitter, while the other features multiple square boxes which is easier to upload on Instagram.

This photo medium was chosen because it can be easily saved to someone’s computer and/or phone and referenced back to in the future.

The goal was to create engaging content which could be educational and helpful for the long-term.

I utilized Mike Caulfield’s suggestions on ways to fact-check information and combined those with other methods that have been proven to be successful from research, along with methods I personally found helpful when debunking information—creating a ‘one-stop’ fact-checking guide and flowchart for social media content.

A hashtag of #GetAClue is used in the medium for dual purposes:
1)
To increase memorability through an acronym (CLUE) to help the target audience remember how to fact-check.
2) To increase visibility and viralability with the use of a hashtag when/if this fact-check guide is shared on social media. (Hashtags are used on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.)

References:

[1] Pew Research, 2021
[2] MIT Sloan, 2020
[3] Neiman Lab, 2021
[4] Mike Caulfield, CTRL+ F, Wikipedia
[5] Mike Caulfield, CTRL + F, Check Other Sources
[6] Research Journal, Fact-Checking the Crisis: COVID-19, Infodemics, and the Platformization of Truth, Kelley Cotter, Julia R. DeCook, and Shaheen Kanthawala, 2022
[7] Neiman Lab, 2021

Flowchart:

Fact-Checking Guide For Twitter:

Instagram version:

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