Social Media Users More Likely To Believe Misinformation
Americans who depend on social media as their primary source of news are expected to believe false or unverified stories about important topics such as politics and Covid-19, according to a survey on Monday.
As stated by Pew Research Centre report, people who preferred social platforms for news were found less updated regarding major public affairs topics and more prone to trusting gossips and pranks.
The report issued as the social media platforms are becoming a rising source of news despite struggles by traditional media in the digital age.
The Pew report also found that about 18 percent of respondents in the survey got most of their political and election news via social media. But those respondents were having less possibility to correctly answer fact-based questions about politics and current events than those preferring print, broadcast, or news apps.
Social media news clients were more observant of specific false or unverified stories about the coronavirus and informed that they had seen more false information about the coronavirus, such as claims that Vitamin C could prevent infection, the survey found.
Social media users were found less informed regarding political news facts such as the function of the state-by-state Electoral College votes, which eventually determine who wins the White House, or the unemployment rate.
The report comes as a result of series of interviews with around 9,000 US adults from November 2019 through December 2020. According to the majority in the survey, they disbelieved social media, especially Facebook.
The researchers also found that among traditional media users, roughly a quarter of Americans consistently turned to “partisan” news sites for supporting their views on politics.
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Pew report also found that almost three in 10 Republicans trusted former president Donald Trump as the main source of news about the election and the coronavirus. These Republicans were more probable to think the Covid-19 pandemic had been over and expected to see voter fraud as a significant threat to election integrity.