Gov. Kathy Hochul Unveils Effort to Devise ‘Misinformation’ Toolkit for K-12 Students

By Published on November 22, 2023

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a new initiative on Tuesday for teaching students in her state to detect “misinformation” online.

Hochul tasked the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to create a “Media Literacy Tool Kit for K-12 Schools” to assist public school teachers in educating students on “how to spot misinformation/disinformation/malinformation (‘MDM’) online,” according to a announcement. Hochul is also pushing social media companies to combat hate because of a massive rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic content online since the Israel-Hamas War, according to a letter she sent to the platforms on Tuesday.

There has been a disturbing rise in online hate, especially when it comes to antisemitic, Islamophobic and anti-Arab threats,” New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray asserted in the announcement. “Now more than ever, its critical young adults have the tools they need to be able to critically analyze what they see online and help prevent the further spread of hateful rhetoric.”

Hochul and Bray also discussed “threat assessment teams” monitoring social media during the announcement.

“They’re not looking at your Instagram sunset posts or your tweets about your favorite football team, and they’re not here to penalize anyone for their political views,” Hochul asserted. “They have a simple goal, to find out what’s driving hateful behavior and intervene early before harm is done.”

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Hochul’s letter to social media platforms urges them to have strongly enforced policies against objectionable speech and to enlist sufficient staff to tackle information threats.

“The rising tide of hate is putting all New Yorkers at risk — and as Governor, I’m committed to tackling this crisis head-on,” Hochul stated. “We’re deploying physical security resources, expanding our Threat Management and Assessment teams, calling for stronger action from social media companies, and encouraging families and communities to come together to fight hate. New York has always been a beacon of hope, tolerance and inclusivity, and we will be defined by how we come together to condemn hate in all forms.”

Hochul and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

 

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