Round 1 Scenario Cards

Protest scenario

Card A - Protest scenario

It’s the week before an election. A photo on social media shows the leading candidate at a protest held by a group that encourages violence. Many people have called for the candidate to drop out of the race, while others say the image has been faked. The candidate has not made a statement about this yet.

Card B - Strategy: Find the original

A reverse-image search shows you that the photo first appeared on The Yak, a news and gossip website. When you do a search on The Yak site, you find that they’ve published some major stories that were true. But they have also had to retract a few stories that had factual errors.

Card C - Strategy: Check other information

A search for the candidate’s name and the word “protest” shows that other news outlets are covering this story. Some are just repeating what was in The Yak’s story, but one has confirmed that the candidate was at the protest where the photo was taken.

Card D - Strategy: Turn to places you trust

You check The Hilltop Herald, a newspaper that is known for careful and accurate political reporting. Their story says that there were many groups at the protest. Only one of those groups is known for encouraging violence.

Card E - Answer

There’s enough evidence to show that the candidate was at the protest, but there’s no way to be sure the candidate was part of the group that encouraged violence. You compare the reputations of The Yak and The Hilltop Herald. You realize it’s more likely that The Herald did the work of finding out the details about the event where the photo was taken.

Weather scenario

Card A - Weather scenario

Your friend sends you a news story saying that voting has been delayed until tomorrow because of bad weather. You’d rather not go out in the snow if you don’t have to, but if he’s wrong and you believe him, you won’t be able to vote at all!

Card B - Strategy: Turn to places you trust

You check the Elections Canada website. You don’t find anything there about polls being closed or delayed.

Card C - Strategy: Find the original

You follow the link in the story your friend sent you. You find out that it came from the website of your local newspaper, the Town Bugle, but the article is from three years ago.

Card D - Strategy: Verify the source

You’re pretty sure you can trust the Town Bugle, but is this story really from them? A quick search shows you that the web address matches the official Town Bugle address.

Card E - Answer

Your friend wasn’t wrong – just a few years late. The link he sent you was from a reliable source, but it was a story from a past election. That’s why you need to check the date anytime you see a news story or photo being shared. It’s also important to check a source you know you can trust, like Elections Canada, for information about elections.

Wolves scenario

Card A - Wolves scenario

The biggest local issue in the upcoming election is a plan to reintroduce wolves to the nearby national park. The aim is to help control the deer population. You see a meme going around saying that deer kill 10 times as many people every year as wolves do. How can you know if that’s true?

Card B - Strategy: Find the original

The meme doesn’t list a source. A search for “deer kill meme” shows you that the meme was first tweeted by a well-known environmental activist. You see that the statistics come from Wikipedia.

Card C - Strategy: Check other information

When you check local news sources, you see a few opinion and analysis articles discussing the claim. None of them say it’s false, but some say it’s misleading. Some of the statistics are from Canada only, and some are for all of North America.

Card D - Strategy: Verify the source

If Wikipedia is the source, you can find out a lot by checking the Talk page of the article. That’s where you can see an article’s rating and whether editors are arguing about it. This article has a B rating. There aren’t any arguments going on about it.

The articles say that in 2000 in Canada, 23 people died when their vehicles hit a deer. Two people died after a wolf attack in North America in the last 20 years.

Card E - Answer

When you see a claim being spread without any sign of where it came from, be cautious until you find a reliable source that backs it up. Wikipedia can be a reliable source, but you need to double-check. Make sure there aren’t any notices showing problems with the article, and that the facts come from reliable sources.

When you followed the information to the source, you learned that deer cause many more deaths every year than wolves do.

Prime minister scenario

Card A - Prime minister scenario

You see a social media post saying that although you have to be 18 to vote in federal elections in Canada, you can vote for the prime minister if you are 14 or older. That doesn’t seem to make sense, but it would be cool if it were true!

Card B - Strategy: Find the original

You follow the link and find that the source is a news story about a federal political party having a convention to choose their next leader. The story quotes a 14-year-old party member talking about who she is going to vote for.

Card C - Strategy: Turn to places you trust

You go to the party’s website and look for information on who can vote for the leader. It says that all members can vote for the party leader, and that you can become a member at age 14.

Card D - Strategy: Turn to places you trust

You’re not sure whether you can only vote for the party leader if you’re 14, or if you can vote in the general election, too. You go to the Elections Canada website and find an FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet. It says you have to be 18 on election day to vote in a general election. It adds that in a general election, you vote for your local member of Parliament, not directly for the prime minister.

Card E - Answer

Sometimes whether something is true depends on what question you’re asking. It’s true that you can’t vote in federal elections until you’re 18. But because the prime minister is usually the leader of the party that forms the government, you can help decide who is prime minister if you vote in a party leadership race. Each party decides who can be a voting member.

University scenario

Card A - University scenario

The first election you’re eligible to vote in is coming up, but you’re away at university and you’re not sure where you can vote. A friend sends you a news story saying that students who live away from home can vote twice.

Card B - Strategy: Find the original

You check the web address of the story and find it came from the Campus Crier, your university’s student newspaper.

Card C - Strategy: Verify the source

You do a quick search on the Campus Crier website and find that they publish opinion pieces as well as news. They also have a history of publishing stories without fact-checking them first.

Card D - Strategy: Turn to places you trust

You check the Elections Canada website and find out that students can vote in the riding where they’re attending university if they have ID to prove their address.

Card E - Answer

Sometimes the information you get on social media isn’t false, just incomplete. Students can vote at home or where they’re studying (but not both places). They need to give proof of address when they register to vote. For information about the ways to vote, a federal or provincial elections office is always your best source.