Misinformation Still Massive Problem on Social Media, New Report Reveals

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center has revealed that misinformation on social media does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. The research center conducted 10 surveys of around 9000 Americans in total, and it turns out that 18% of adults currently residing in the US get their news mainly from social media.

This statistic gets even more interesting when you take age into account. About half of the people that said that they get most of their news from social media are under the age of 30, which means that this is a phenomenon unique to Millennials as well as Gen Z internet users. The problem with this is that the people that rely only on social media for their news appear to not be as well informed as people who rely on actual news sources directly.

About 57% of people who get the majority of their news from social media can be said to be politically unaware or possessing a rather low amount of knowledge about politics and the like. When you compare this 23% who have low political knowledge among direct news sources readers, you can see why a perfect storm is created wherein the propensity for misinformation on social media combined with low political knowledge leads to conspiracy theories and the like.

Another interesting thing to note is that while 57% of respondents claimed to have seen at least one piece of misinformation on social media, 49% said that they saw something similar on a news source. This means that misinformation is rampant in all media circles, but the nature of social media makes it easier to disseminate this information and spread it among people that would take it at face value without trying to understand any of its nuances.
Read next: Facebook’s Attempts to Stop Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories Have Failed Miserably
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