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Problem Solving Must-Reads: An App to Counter Fake News

Plus: Navigating bike path maps gets a facelift, and how horses are helping combat veterans heal from PTSD.

Problem Solving Must-Reads: An App to Counter Fake News

Plus: Navigating bike path maps gets a facelift, and how horses are helping combat veterans heal from PTSD.

The phenomenon of “fake news”—biased publications or unverifiable blogs posting untrue or mostly false stories that receive many clicks on social media platforms—plagued the last election cycle. For example, a false report that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump circulated Facebook onto thousands of news feeds. All throughout the election, incorrect and tainted information crept into many people’s lives through social media. While attempts to thwart the influence of this kind of news—Facebook’s efforts to block stories from known fake news sites and Chrome’s extension for “Fake News Alerts,” for two—haven’t yet been able to completely stop it, an app aimed at K-12 students, Newsela, could be the surprising answer.

Newsela’s creator and CEO Matthew Gross said he created Newsela based off schools’ efforts to teach students how to find reliable sources in our “post-truth” era. However, Gross said he believes that his app could produce much larger, positive change beyond K-12. The app merges curated content, and strictly features verified sources and stories. Newsela includes historical documents, like the Constitution and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, for students to page through on the app. Newsela has also formed partnerships with various news outlets like The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times in order to ensure their content is up to date and true.

Read the full story here (via Good)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

The Makeover of Bike Path Maps

Photo: City Lab

Navigating bike trails can be stressful and confusing, especially in cities. Bike trails are often hard to follow and are always changing as more bike lanes pop up in large cities. CityLab reader Michael Graham has designed a map based off the designs of London’s Undergroud maps to help make them easier to understand. The “spider maps” he designed focus on capitalizing on intuition and sharp angles in order to simplify the overwhelming, complex information associated with current bike maps. Graham hopes that, through his minimalistic maps, accidents can be avoided and more bikes will be used to reduce pollution from cars. (via City Lab)

How Combat Vets Are Getting Help From Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Photo: Upworthy

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects combat veterans at a startling rate, with the rate as high as 20 percent of all soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Every day, about 20 military veterans commit suicide. New Jersey’s Christianna Capra hopes that her nonprofit organization, Spring Reins of Life, will aid those who have helped protect our country. Spring Reins of Life focuses on equine-assisted psychotherapy—a program that pairs people and horses together for them to work through their grief with a medical professional—for about 700 combat veterans, 100 kids, and 1,000 high-risk adolescents. The organization is the first and only permitted military service provider of equine-assisted psychotherapy in New Jersey. Capra admits that the horses are the ones who do most of the work from their calm demeanor, and she hopes that the organization as a whole can create palpable change for the veteran community. (via Upworthy)

Photo header via GOOD

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