Fake News Deceives More Than A Quarter Of Teens And They Don't Know They Share Misinformation

By Olivia Etienne, Parent Herald April 05, 09:12 pm
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Forty percent of teens admit that they unaware of discerning fake news from the real ones, considering the amount of time they spend on the internet.
(Photo : Matt Cardy / Stringer)

Just when adults think that teens are already all-knowing of how internet can be dishonest, they are wrong. Turns out, these tech-savvy teens who spend plenty of time on the internet are as susceptible to wrong information as their older counterparts.

Thirty-one percent of teens aged 10-18 admitted to being deceived by fake news one time or another. The surveyed teens said that they even shared fake news in the last six months without knowing the story's veracity, CNN noted. Meanwhile, about 40 percent of the teens were found out to discern faux news from the real ones.

The research conducted by tech-oriented non-profit organization, Common Sense Media, also noted that these teens see their family as the most trustworthy news source. Out of 853 respondents, 66 percent said that family members are better news source than teachers and other adults (48 percent), news organizations (25 percent) and peers (17 percent).

Even though the teens expressed their trust more on family members, most of them said that they still prefer social media as their news source — Facebook in particular. Traditional media was their least preferred (24 percent) while word of mouth from family, teachers and friends came second on social media.

Fake news or alternate facts are not exclusively millennium-born as these can be considered as propaganda of the pre-internet era. Although it may not be entirely new, its range and effects can be more alarming than ever since it is easier to spread information with just a few clicks. According to a Pew Research study, an astounding 88 percent of Americans admit that fake news confuse them with the facts.

Facebook has stood up in busting news pages proliferating alternate facts and some countries are even taking this matter seriously by educating young children of responsible and true journalism. In a report by Financial Times, news organizations like France's Le Monde visit schools to enlighten young minds who are often the target of propaganda and alternate facts.

In the past century, propaganda has used books and history as tools for meddling into young people's minds but now, it lives on and has gone digital. Are you teaching your kids of how to be a fact-checker? Share your tips and tricks by commenting below!

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