Google examines how different generations handle misinformation

Essentially, the study concludes that young people are more likely to think they may have unwittingly shared false or misleading information — often motivated by pressure to share emotional content. quickly. However, they are also more adept at using advanced fact-checking techniques.

One-third of Gen Z respondents said they always practice reading horizontally or most of the time when verifying information — more than double the percentage of boomers. About a third of young people also said they run searches across multiple search engines to compare results and skim the first page of search results.

The survey sections provide an interesting overview of how people of different ages and locations experience misinformation and reflect on their own role in prevent or spread it: For example, 62% of all respondents believe they see misinformation online weekly. Generation Z, millennial and Gen X readers are more confident in their ability to detect misinformation and more concerned that their family and close friends may believe something misleading online .

However, the study relied on participants to accurately report their beliefs and habits. And the upbeat numbers about Gen Z’s actual habits contrast sharply with other findings about how people verify information online.

Sam Winsburg, a Stanford University professor who studies fact-checking methods, thinks he knows why that can happen: when you’re trying to understand how people actually behave on the internet. internet, “self-reporting,” he said, “is bullshit. ”

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