Social network for the majority is a good source of information

pte20220704002 Media / Communications, Technology / Digitization

Media users in emerging countries like India or Mexico trust portals the most

Social media: an important source of information for the majority (Photo: Albers-Heinemann)

Oxford (pte002/07/04/2022/06:05) –

Many social media users believe that factual correct information is being disseminated via Facebook, Twitter, and Co. Confidence in the veracity of shared information is greatest in emerging countries. In India, up to 87 percent of people believe that information on social media is correct. This is slightly above the global average of three quarters. This is the result of Oxford University Press

The most naive Indian

When people search for factual information, 37 percent of them turn to social media. For Mexicans and South Africans, this is 43 percent. At 54 percent, this percentage is particularly high in India. For the British, it’s relatively low at just 16 percent. Americans still get a 29 percent value. Most people rely heavily on Google and other search engines. 67 percent of people around the world are convinced of this. 62% of Brits find the information they need this way.

Matters of Truth is based on survey data from 5,000 people in the UK, US, South Africa, India and Mexico. It shows that social media is now of central importance in shaping people’s understanding. 52% say that online portals such as Facebook, YouTube or Instagram play an important role in distinguishing fact from fiction. At the same time, trust in books and traditional methods of gathering information has declined. For example, less than a third of nonfiction books or reference works are named as sources of information.

Britain check the facts again

Trust in social media varies geographically. Nearly 80 percent of Indians and 60 percent of Mexicans consider these networks to be important tools in distinguishing fact from fiction. In the UK, on ​​the other hand, the figure is only 27 per cent and 42 per cent in the US. People under 55 are more likely to believe in the accuracy of the information they share on social media. 35 percent of 25- to 44-year-olds say they are very sure they are only sharing truthful information. For people over 55, this value is only 13 percent. Just over 44 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 44 use social media as a news source. For the elderly it is only twelve per cent.

Most people use multiple sources to determine whether something is true or not. The proportion here is 80 percent worldwide. 70% of Britons double-check the facts. Less than half (47 percent) still believe that politicians and government play an important role in separating fact from fiction. Among the most skeptical Britons, that number has fallen to 35 percent. At 65 percent, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that an open interpretation of facts should be possible.

The pandemic seems to have an effect on perceptions of reality. About three in four people agree that they are now more cautious about the accuracy of information. In India, Mexico and South Africa, this figure rises to 80%. 68 percent say it has become more difficult to determine whether the information is correct. The British and Americans in particular are reluctant to trust a single source. 17 per cent of Americans and 25 per cent of Brits say they have not shared any information as fact from any source in the past five years.


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