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QE debaters grapple fake news

Date Posted: 12/02/2019 | Posted In: Latest news

Members of the debating society from QE have participated in an inter-school debating competition organised by Darlington and Barnard Castle’s Rotary Clubs. Competing against teams from Barnard Castle School, Polam Hall and Teesdale School, the organisers had chosen motions designed to look at issues relevant to the lives of young people. As spectators, Amy Jones fired questions at Barnard Castle School and Polam Hall who were disputing the threat posed by artificial intelligence to humanity, linking the argument to government regulation.

In their debate, the team from QE challenged Teesdale School on the topic of whether social media sites should filter fake news with Iain Campbell, Andrew Hall and Liz Johnson arguing that companies like Facebook are not news sources, but rather they are platforms for communication. The group faced difficult questions from a panel of educationalists and journalists on whether social media sites steer their users towards a particular view and the exact definition of the term ‘fake news’. From the audience, Adam Bell asked debaters to consider whether the real solution to fake news was a more educated and discerning society.

Tony Dabb, who accompanied the students to the event, explains: ‘The group performed exceptionally well and the judges praised them for their articulacy, humour and teamwork. Although Teesdale School were named overall winners, they enjoyed the afternoon and received a cash prize and certificates. I am very proud of them all’.