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Check the Claim: Two Truths and a Lie, Animal Edition

SKILL: Check the Claim

DIFFICULTY: Simple

SUBJECT(S): General

Students will use a keyword search to learn that, luckily, the frightening gorilla fish is nothing more than a viral social media hoax.

Links to Examples

  1. Pink Fairy Armadillo (Imgur)
  2. “Vampire” Deer (Reddit)
  3. Gorilla Fish (Tweet)


About the Example

In this variation of the popular icebreaker “Two Truths and a Lie,” two of these animals are real and one is fake. Students will verify the existence of each using a keyword search. 

Spoiler alert! Easily confused for a Pokémon, the pink fairy armadillo is real and lives in Argentina. The nightmare fuel “vampire” deer is also real, but goes by the more neutral name of water deer. Rest assured, they are herbivores and do not use their fangs to suck blood. At last, it’s the frightening gorilla fish that only exists as a viral social media hoax.



Activities 

Example 1: Pink Fairy Armadillo

  1. Have students look at the tweet and identify the claim.
  2. Have students check the claim using a keyword search (“pink fairy armadillo”).
  3. The search will yield several reliable results including World Wildlife Fund and Smithsonian Institution that confirm this is a real, living animal.

Example 2: “Vampire” Deer 

  1. Have students look at the Reddit post and identify the claim.
  2. Have students check the claim using a keyword search (“vampire deer”).
  3. The search will yield several reliable results including National Geographic and a Wikipedia entry for “Water deer,” the official name for this species. 

Example 3: Gorilla Fish

  1. Have students look at the tweet and identify the claim.
  2. Have students check the claim using a keyword search (“gorilla fish”). The search yields various unfamiliar sources questioning the authenticity of the image. 
  3. Have students click into the coverage from the Daily Star to learn that while the source of the viral image has been confirmed, it does not depict a real animal. 


Review and Discuss Key Concepts (optional)

Review the concept of Poe’s Law — “An internet adage stating that without a clear statement of the author’s intent, there is no joke, parody, or satire that is self-evidently so. There is no view so extreme that it won’t be mistaken by at least some people as sincere.” Even if something is created as a joke, the internet doesn’t make context clear, and it is always possible for a joke to be taken seriously by others.



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