To improve people’s’ ability to think critically towards information one could on an irregular basis on purpose spread false information. This could be compared to keeping security personal at airports alert by intentionally introducing pictures with fake weapons on the scream. An important feature would be to inform media consumers of this ability and always add an “insurance button” that can be pushed for getting the right answers. A risk is otherwise that the false information would go viral. This has been seen with articles from e.g. The Onion where some readers uncritically have started sharing an article without any source or content criticism.
One such good example of sending out false news to raise public awareness came out of Portland State University. A group of three people wrote hoax papers and submitted them to academic journals. After seven of those hoax papers were published in academic journasl, the authors took their message public. The Irish Examiner helped reveal their work and they have posted Youtube clips along with an interview with a hoaxed journal editor.
This is a good example of using humor to attract readers attention to the need to think critically towards information.
Realizing the Idea
This idea would best be realised by known media houses with a reputation for being critical in their reporting.
The idea gives a reader that wants to be regarded as critically thinking a chance to practice these skills.
I am not convinced the idea is unique, but then again I do not believe an idea needs to be unique to be good. The important part is whether it has been implemented and tried out already and what can be learned from that.