#27 Pick a side!

26 March 2021

Skill Solid Numeracy

Winners Announced!

We were very impressed this week by how everyone used their learning from the Issue to explain which side of the argument was best. It was very tricky to choose the winners as the standard was so high, but eventually we decided on…

neat_avocado of Caister Academy, who said they believe false information should not be posted because social media has a big influence on the public and so flagging fake news is not enough


skillful_conclusion of Birchwood C of E Primary School, who agreed, saying that even a small amount of fake news stories can get passed around “huge amounts”.

Superb explanations from both of you - well done!

Every competition for this Issue challenges you to think about some of the numbers in the news - but for this one, we want to put your speaking skills to the test too!

Read the following facts:

1) 79% of people believe that untrue stories about covid-19 should not be posted or shared on social media


2) 21% of people believe that it’s OK for untrue stories about covid-19 to be posted and shared on social media, as long as they are flagged as untrustworthy by the social media platform

Your challenge this week is to pick a side: do you agree with the people in fact number one or fact number two? Don't forget to share your reasons.

The best entries will include the word "because..." along with a clear explanation about why you have picked one side of the argument over the other. Challenge yourself to think of more than one reason if you can!

Need some help to get going? Use this sentence starter:

I agree with the people in fact 1/fact 2 because... (insert reason here). I don't agree with the people in the other fact because... (insert reason here).

The deadline for entries is Friday March 26th at midday. PLEASE ENTER ONLY ONCE and make sure your work is your own. Good luck!

Comments (26)

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  • Hello shining_journalist here 🤓 and I will be sharing my thoughts and opinions!
    I agree with the people in fact 1 because if we write fake things about covid-19 then many people will actually fall for it as the covid-19 is a big issue which is affecting many people’s and causing people to die...from this pandemic, also why would we humans make fake things about something that can make a huge impact on people(as the covid-19 killed more than 1 million people’s lives)so I do agree that we shouldn’t put anything fake on the social medias.
    I don’t agree with the people in the other fact because if you make untrue make stories on social media’s that everyone uses and then wouldn’t that story go on the trending page on that social media and then everybody will eventually will see the post and on the comments the users would ask the person who posted fake things about the virus if this is true so not only people will get tricked that person will become popular and also have followers and the fans will believe what the person who post it about what they said.
    Thank you for reading!
    Stay safe

  • I agree with fact one, as it highlights that fake news stories shouldn't be shared, as it would give people opinions that they shouldn't necessarily have. Also, both of the stories are the same facts, just different ways of saying them. However, the 21% did agree that they should be flagged as untrustworthy by the owners. In opposition, sometimes fake news is actually good, as for example the news story could influence people to do good things.

    Overall, I don't think that fake news should be shared on social media, because even if it's flagged as untrustworthy, there is a chance people won't be able to realise that. In addition, usually a lot of the fake news is negative, and people might publish them only for personal gain. Finally, there are still some trustworthy news sources such as BBC. The news platform has a lot of power, so they should use their power wisely.

  • I agree with the people in fact 1 because it is better not to publish a story that is untrue than to publish it and then flag it. This is because some people often dont see the flagging or they completely ignore it. There is also a lot of doubt and misinformation already which creates confusion and fear. I believe to publish untrue stories, we further add to the confusion and fear that already is happening. I am of the opinion that once a story has been found to be untrue, the social media should just ignore it.

  • I agree with fact 1 because no one should be posting fake stories on social media because people might not believe the untrustworthy sign and let’s say the story is worrying the person reading it could get really worried for no reason. I disagree with fact2 because the person labelling untrustworthy and worthy might believe a not true story is true and then people will start believing in things that aren’t true. Also someone might get confused if they should believe the sign or not believe the sign.

  • I agree with fact number one because I feel that people have a right to know the truth even though untrue lies are being posted. some people may believe untrue facts like these posted all around social media and they may do the wrong thing including risking the health and safety of themselves and more importantly, those around them. I do not agree with fact number 2 because some people may ignore the fact that the post have been flagged as untrustworthy or untrue by the social media platform and may choose to read the fake news and tell others the media manipulation and the disinformation that they have heard. In conclusion, i think that fact 1 makes more sense

  • I agree with the 79% of people in fact 1 because I do not think that it is right to post untrue posts or news about Covid-19 because everyone deserves to know the truth about what is happening. Lots of people, just wanting to be safe during the pandemic, are unsure of what to do, and are reading the news for their source of information. Does it seem right that unknowing people will be falsely informed and potentially endanger others? True, you should try and find out whether or not the news you are reading is true, facts not opinions, and not opinions presented as facts, but some people just don’t know to do this. Especially with the dangers that this pandemic can cause it is just best for everyone to be correctly informed and with the certainty that everything they are reading is true. Therefore, I strongly disagree with the 21% of people who think it is okay to be given false information by the news as everyone should be clear on what is true and what is false, for their own safety and that of others.

  • I agree with The first făct as covid-19 is serious and if you Say something like
    “Covid-19 has mutated we’re going to lock down everyone!” some poeple might believe and lock down themsleves and if they have children and that won’t be funny as they aren’t just making The parents stop working jobs you’re making The children miss they’re educațion.

  • I pick the 79% one.This is because if you spread fake news or untrue stories then people can get nervous or have negative thoughts.They might find a situation very very very serious even if it’s not.This can impact people’s mental health and make the public negative or very depressed.On the side if you spread positive untrue stories then people are going to not take COVID seriously.Example:You spread a rumour or untrue story saying,’there is no need to wear PPE anymore’.People are going to take this seriously.They will actually start not wearing PPE.News can impact people’s lives a lot.And for the second point,it is not necessary that that person is going to get reported or flagged.
    Thanks for reading.

  • I agree with fact number 1 because These things should never be shown on the news as some people could more likely believe it as
    1. People could skim through it
    Some poem ple could more or likely skim through it just to find some fake key points for example imagine if your reasurching about the COVID vaccines for example and you’ve found a link but you dont know wether or not its true and you click it and then you skim through it trying to find the key accts you never know if that website?link is true or not as it can lead you into fake things which make people for terrified and scared.
    2. COVID isn’t something to joke about, joking about COVID can lead people to being very sad and confused some people so this is why I dont think that this shouldn’t be shared on the news even if it says fake news i still shouldn’t

  • I aggree with the majority of the people who said it should NOT be posted because of the influence social media has on the general public. If this news would have came up on someone's screen they may choose to believe it and that may cause many anxieties which may lead to -in some peoples cases- decide to not take the vaccine or even worse not follow guidlines set for our and others safety. Even if they did flag it on social media, it would not make a full impact onto the viewer. A good example of an alternative would be to completely take down the post, once evidence is found for it to be false.

    In present times the internet has been widely used all over the world, and for some false news to cause mistrust in the government would be absolutely terrible for the future rules or votes. Based on this evidence I agree with fact 1.

    Thanks for reading!

  • eager_reflection here,
    I agree with the people in fact 1 because even if one post that contains fake news is posted, it can spread around the world within minutes. If people believe the fake news, they could be doing unnecessary actions that could be dangerous to their mental and physical health and could get really worried about their health. If someone posts fake news about the vaccine, people might not want to take it. This could cost lives. Some people post fake news on social media because every time someone shares it, they could earn money. People might publish things before they think about it, and unwillingly post fake news. If a person shares some fake news with a member of their family or their friends, they could make them feel worried even though they don't mean to. People who post fake news sometimes want to strike fear into their readers.

    I disagree with the people in fact 2 because if someone posts fake news, especially about the pandemic, people can believe it and become scared. A pandemic only happens once during most people's lives, and they can be frightened of the unknown. If someone believes in fake news, they could become really negative and might not see the light at the end of the tunnel. They might know who to trust anymore. Also, social media websites cannot look through every single post to mark some as untrustworthy. People might not even realise that a post is marked as this and can share it to other people.
    Thanks for reading.

  • I go with the 79% one because if you spread fake news like coronavirus is over this would be very dangerous because if the fake news gets to people then lives would be lost and people could get nervous if someone said that coronavirus has been found in everyday for you eat that would make people stressed and lack in getting the nutrients they need and if there are positive impact to boost peoples esteem it would still be bad because the rumour would spread like a virus and would need to go into a full lockdown which could make the whole world a ghost world.

  • Hi It’s skillful_conclusion
    I agree with reason 1 because if untrue facts or news about Covid-19 get on any social media then people might get ill because if they follow that news or rule that’s not true then that’s bad for them. I disagree with reason two because it doesn’t matter if it’s 30% or 25% of untrue stories that go on social media it can still cause damage to people’s lives it can still hurt them. Even though it’s a small amount, small amounts can still get passed huge amounts. So people that watch the news or read the news what ever they do they have to make sure it’s real
    Thank you for reading

  • This is neat_celo I agree that covid is bad and I undersant that people aren't aloud to go out because of covid s d I don't like covid my self people are saying stuff out of there mouth wich is not a true story that they are telling us out of mouth we rather hear the news of a raidio or a TV of borris jonsen
    From neat_celo tryed my best to say sruff bye
    Have a lovely day

    1. To neat_cello,
      Great opinion!
      Why don’t you agree with the other fact? And also how you said about that people say untrue facts out of their mouth that are from the TV or radio, is it true that untrue stories only come from the TV and the radio, or can it come from other places? Can you think of any? Example: Newspapers.

  • I agree with Reason 1 as posting false-information on social media could lead into dangerous situations, such as more cases, more deaths and possibly another lockdown or cause many different opinions that could be negative or positive, and is likely to incite fear upon people if it is described negatively. Hence, people will share this fake story, and it will spread, people are likely guilible to fall into believing it, meaning they share it and start believing all the rumors are true. This will endanger lives, this also means no matter what you look at be it social media, or Live TV, always check if its true information being told, or its false info.

    Thanks for reading my competition entry,

    1. To flowing_stategy,
      I really liked what you said at the end that you should always check if it’s true. How could you check if something is true or false? And what are the reasons you don’t agree with the second reason.
      From buzzing_grapefruit.

  • I agree with reason 1 because fake things on social media about the corona virus . An example of this false news is that rumours spread about there were ingredients in the vaccine that went against people's religious beliefs. Most of the Asian community didn't take the vaccine when the rumour approched them. However, people had evidence that this is not true. So I agree with the 79% of people who said rumours can not be true because the less who take the vaccine , the less lives we can save from COVID-19.

    By Dedicated_Starfruit

  • I agree with fact one.
    This is because many people do not know the dangers of fake news and may want to believe certain things if they want to. Fake news can spread quickly and the more of it there is, the more people are tricked into believing. While having it flagged as untrustworthy is good, once someone reads something, they can't unread it. Even if they do see the untrustworthy sign, by then they will have this untrue thought in their head which may begin to take shape into something else.

  • I agree with fact 1 because it would be stupid allowing panic to spread about coronavirus without wanting to stop it. For a example, people who believe that the goverment is hiding something about the pandemic, they may believe stronger if the goverment don't act on the matter. My final reason why the goverment shouldn't just let the rumour spread is because some people believe that this information is real and there may be a riot because they think the goverment is doing the wrong thing. We need to stand up to them and not allow them to affect what isn't true. This is why reason 1 is the right decision.

  • I would go with the 21% since the fake news gets inspired from real news as well. They might exaggerate a bit (or a lot!) but there will be little true bits along the way and you can always find more news stories to find the truth! That's my idea- daring_whale

  • I agree on fact one because it is true, most people believe in untrue stories on social media. I have see loads of posts and comments that share fake news to people who have accounts on different things.

  • I pick the first fact, because why would any one allow false news spread causing more panic and frustration to their country. I mean it puts more weight on people and most importantly the NHS! The people should stop spreading false news, and unprofessional reporters might start a rumour for example: "Kids can not go back to school yet because the the Government said" So that false news would get in the way of kids education for no exact reason.

    Thank you for reading!

  • I agree with fact 1 because facts are what the news is about. Lies and fictions should not be allowed onto Social Media, as Covid 19 is already confusing and overwhelming as much as people can take already. I disagree with fact 2 as it is possible to miss something while flagging, or someone might not notice the flagged icon.

  • I agree with number 1 because what is the meaning of putting fake news if it will cause a load of panic to people.This can cause confusion and anger because some people want to read real news and people will get confused like''hey no-one said this happened.... hmmmmm should I believe this....?'' plus who would want to read fake news any -way but for-sure not me!!!

  • I agree with fact 1 because they said that “untrue stories about covid-19 should not be posted or shared on social media”. I agree with this opinion because information about covid is really important during this time so if people posted misinformation, some people might actually believe it and start doing wrong things e.g. schools will be closed until September 11th 2021. In this example, it also means that students will miss out on more education as we’ve already had 2 lockdowns.

    I don’t agree with fact 2 because even though they said “...as long as they are flagged as untrustworthy…” this doesn't mean that EVERYONE will understand, some people might actually believe it allows fake news to spread more. Another reason why I don't agree is that, since lots of information gats shared by lots of people using many apps, for example, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, people who work for social media might not always be bothered to check whether it's true AND appropriate.

  • I agree with point 1 since fake news should not be posted at all - younger audiences might believe it as well as older audiences. This could cause a wave of fake news. For example, those misinformed on something may spread the incorrect news, believing it came from a reliable source.

    I don't agree with number 2 because it creates a sense of unnecessary negative emotions for the reader. If the news article presented sensitive content that was false, it may cause people to become upset if they believed it. This wouldn't have been a problem if it was simply not published or labelled 'fake news' instead of 'untrustworthy'.


  • I agree with fact 1 because fake news can cloud peoples judgment about the pandemic upon us and by promoting news that is real it makes the information, that is given to us, genuine. This makes it easier for people to trust the news as well as the importance of what is being said. However, in fact 2 they are making it difficult for people to trust the news. Fact 1 is ensuring that everyone is given the correct information and they are giving true updates on the world. I don’t agree with fact 2 because it is telling us fake news and as soon as that news is put out into the world it is going to spread and even though it will be labelled as fake news that won’t get passed on. Overall, fact 1 is the fact I agree with because it is news that is true and news that is going to be helpful.