Skip to content Skip to navigation

#Call to Action: Fake News, Misinformation and Post Truth

16 Nov 2017
Forum Write Up

On Thursday 9th November 2017, over 100 participants responded to the #Call to Action and  heard from different stakeholders such as Martino Tan, Deputy Managing Director & Co-Managing Editor,; Zakir Hussain, Foreign Editor, The Straits Times; Damien Wang, Librarian, Engagement, National Library, National Library Board; Huang Dehua (Max), SMUSA Academic & Welfare Secretary; and Gulcin Cribb, University Librarian, SMU Libraries.

From Talk: The Panellist

The forum was moderated by Assoc. Prof, Eugene Tan, School of Law who made the opening remarks on issues such society’s  resilience in fortifying itself against the forces that seek to mislead and misinform; the media’s role in in flagging and fighting fake news, how educators and libraries can promote critical thinking in fact-checking and refuting fake news and much more. The panellist challenged the participants with discussion questions such as:

  • how can we encourage more people to be “good samaritans” when it comes to refuting fake news?
  • given that much of the news that youths are exposed to today come from social media, how do we equip them to filter and process what is credible?
  • should we then seek to draw more clearly, the line between social media and legitimate news platforms or seek to accept and integrate social media as a news source?
  • how would the upcoming government legislation on fake news promote a culture of responsibility online?
  • should libraries collect and curate ‘fake news’?

To Action: Small Group Discussions

They debated on whether there is a dichotomy between ‘fake news’ and ‘news’, and its shades of grey. The group (left) discussed and agreed that it is not a simple concept, and that fake news or news exists as a continuum rather than fitting neatly into categories.

Another group deliberated upon students being exposed to various points of views on a subject (e.g. both left and right – different newspapers and their biases) so that they can learn to evaluate and develop critical thinking.

Others opined that educators and libraries could cultivate a sense of responsibility with their continued effort in promoting a ‘prosumer’ mindset through critical thinking evaluation as a personal habit, and professional development. Each group facilitator who was also the rapporteur had three minutes to succinctly summarise the key points. The panellists responded to Q&As and made their closing statements which left the audience feeling empowered and enlightened


“Thank you very much to…SMU Libraries for this important initiative! Let's see if the momentum can be sustained to keep the Forum as a resource for librarians.” - Prof Eugene Tan, School of Law

On behalf of SMU Libraries, we thank the panellists, facilitators and participants for their time and sharing of knowledge.  What are your thoughts on Fake News? Let us know via this email:

Last updated on 16 Nov 2017 .