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950 - "Fake News", "Alternative Facts" and Learning

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - January 25, 2017
#950: “Fake News” & “Alternative Facts” - Twitter: @emasie - The MASIE Center - 57,286 Readers 


“FAKE NEWS” & “Alternative Facts”: Learning Implications?

The current media and political conversations about FAKE NEWS and Alternative Facts are already impacting the world of Learning and Development.

I am in Germany this week and was asked by six different learning leaders if we need to address “FAKE NEWS” in the workplace.  Our workers receive and scan the widest range of information sources from in and outside the organization.  Some of those stories, even if coming from what seems like a trusted source such as a TED Talk or major publication, may contain content that the organization sees as “Fake” or Not Based on Facts.

How does an organization “CURATE” content and provide context, ratings or, in some cases, repudiation for high volume “FAKE NEWS”? One colleague from The Netherlands is asking his IT department to provide a trending report of the key external news stories accessed by workers - to guide their response.

And, in some cases the news is truly “FAKE NEWS”.  It might be a phony website that is created by a competitor or ex-employee, aimed at discrediting the organization

Or, it might be what has just surfaced as an “ALTERNATIVE FACTS” model.  Imagine how an employee might react to a statement by management that directly contradicts their experience dealing with customers or products.  Watch for the phrase “Alternative Facts” to start to surface in workplace discussion.

Your Thoughts Please:  I would love to get reactions from the widest set of Learning TRENDS readers about the possible implications for “FAKE NEWS or Alternative Facts” reactions. This is not a political issue; rather, it is a shift in how everyday people are using or evaluating content’s truthfulness.  Send me an email to 

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Yours in Learning,

Elliott Masie
Host, Learning 2017
Twitter: @emasie

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