PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new study shows that preteens and teens struggle to evaluate the accuracy and trustworthiness of news articles.
According to a new study from Stanford University, about 82% of middle schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. That percentage is based on 7,804 students from middle school through college.
Many students judged the credibility of news tweets based on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source.
More than two out of three middle schoolers couldn’t find any reason to distrust a post written by a bank executive arguing that young adults need more financial-planning help.
Nearly half of high school students believed, based on the headline, that photo of deformed daisies provided strong evidence of toxic conditions near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, even though no source or location was given for the photo.
Many websites, including Google and Facebook, are taking steps to disseminate fake news from using their advertising platforms. But the misinformation will always be available from many sources.