The Digital Intelligence and Literacy Research Unit (DIRU), Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, with the Dean Associate Professor Dr Preeda Akarachantachote, presiding, has launched “Thaidigitalcitizen.net“, an interactive learning website for the public to enhance their digital literacy skills and fact-check tools to monitor fake news contents.
Based on the concept of “think, talk, search“, the website is an effort to create a community of awareness and reduce online risks for people of all ages. DIRU is funded by the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest (BTFP), Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). DIRU developed this website based on the research on risks in social media usage and the concept of online self-learning through the three processes of “think, talk, search”.
Through online interactive learning tools, users can learn by themselves with 8 self-study modules to understand and use social media platforms correctly and safely, reduce the risk of being fooled by fake news contents, scams, cyberbullying or online gambling. Then, there are six simulated scenarios for users to learn: internet scams, violence, and cyberbullying, fake news, fake health information, exposure to sexually explicit contents, and risk of identity theft.
After users complete all the materials, they may take a test and if passed, they will receive a certificate of digital literacy that can be printed right away.
Users can exchange and learn about the risks of social media and the ways to mitigate them via chats and groups of members. Users chat and share experiences about online news. They can warn each other and help to monitor the situations encountered by other users.
It is a digital community in the form of a social network. There are articles, infographics, and videos that can be shared and discussion threads on various issues.
Users can fact-check the dubious information by themselves to increase media literacy. There are websites or resources that the project has screened to be credible. It helps to filter the search, so users can get verified information.
Associate Dr Phnom Kleechaya, head of DIRU Research Unit said, “We have been developing this website since the beginning of 2020, and started our survey in 2019. We identified 15 risks and grouped them into 6 risk groups. The website was launched in October 2020 for a three months’ test-run until the end of the year before handing the project to BTFP, the funding agency. We hope to keep developing the website.”
“It may not serve as a panacea for society to change today or tomorrow. Rather, it is a mechanism for continuous learning among users and we want to invite the public to make use of the website.”