Students Distinguish Between Real and Fake Online in Trend Micro Annual Youth Video Contest
May 16, 2018
From catfishing and clickbait, to authenticity and propaganda – youth discuss how to find the truth on the Internet.

Trend Micro Incorporated (TSE), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, announced winners of the 2018 ‘What's Your Story?’ youth video contest. ‘What’s Your Story?’ is an annual international competition that encourages students to explore multiple issues related to safe, responsible and successful technology use. Each year, Trend Micro poses a question that students must answer, always on a topic that is timely and critical to their well-being online.

This year, schools and individuals in the U.S. and Canada submitted videos addressing the question “How do you know if what you see online is real or fake?” for a chance at several prizes, including a $10,000 grand prize for submissions in the individual category or one of two $5,000 grand prizes in the Schools category.

Unlike most video contests, participants must both submit an entry and demonstrate that they can be an advocate of their own message. Contestants are asked to encourage their fans and communities to view and rate their entries as evidence of this advocacy.

Ronin Kubrakovich of Winnipeg, Manitoba won the individual category for his video “DON’T Believe Everything You See Online!” Kubrakovich’s video communicated a simple message: “Pause and do a little homework before you act upon things you see online.” He was able to illustrate this message humorously with increasingly over-the-top examples of false information and a comical character that continued to fall for it. Having the overarching lesson delivered to him by his mother was a great nod to the role parents can play in helping kids use the internet safely and responsibly.

Additionally, Evan Deede and Leighton Calhoun, who submitted on behalf of The Meadowbrook School of Weston in Weston, MA, earned grand prize for the U.S. school category for their video “Real Or Fake? Use The Voices Inside Your Head”. Meadowbrook covered an important topic of false advertising and demonstrated great video production skills. Overall, the video relays a critical message around the importance of listening to your instincts, especially if they are telling you to proceed with caution.

Finally, Baylee Tran, who submitted on behalf of Colonel by Secondary School in Ottawa, Ontario, took home the grand prize for the Canada school category for their video “How to Spot Fake News – Catfish Edition”. Catfishing was a popular topic covered in this year’s contest, and this entry did so in a very simple but humorous way. The filmmakers also cleverly protected their own privacy with the use of costumes.

“With the increased skepticism towards information and people on the Internet, we were interested to hear students’ perspectives on this issue and how they might address it,” said Lynette Owens, founder and global director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids & Families program. “Every year, students enlighten us so much through this contest, giving us insight into how they view online challenges, but more importantly, how they address them. Knowing who and what to trust online is just one of several things they must confront. We were impressed with the range of issues they chose to explore and with the talent and creativity they used to do it.”

A complete list of the 2018 winners, past winners, and more details about the contest can be viewed at 

About Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families

Founded in 2008, the mission of Trend Micro's Internet Safety for Kids & Families is to enable and empower kids, parents, teachers, and schools around the world to make the Internet a safe and secure place for today's youth. ISKF does this through a worldwide employee volunteer program, grants and donations to eligible organizations, strategic partnerships with organizations working to protect youth, educational programs, and a robust series of online tips and solutions for parents, educators, and youth. For ISKF's free Internet safety tips, tools and advice, visit:

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection. With nearly 6,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world’s most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro enables organizations to secure their journey to the cloud. For more information, visit

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Carla Achacoso

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