Stanford Researchers Say Young Americans Have No Idea What’s News

Quartz: “Adolescents may be authorities on social media, but they’re not so good at identifying advertising: According to a Stanford University study, 82% of middle-schoolers failed to differentiate between news stories and ‘sponsored content.'”

“According to the study, more than two-thirds of middle-school students failed to flag as biased a post written by a bank executive and arguing for young adults to pursue more financial-planning help. Likewise, some 40% of high-school students believed a photo and headline that suggested deformed daisies were evidence of toxic conditions near Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The photo included no source or location tag.”

“Researchers found that what tripped students up most were posts with big, flashy elements, which tend to command more attention than the story’s actual source. Teens also ‘judged the credibility of newsy tweets based on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source,’ the Wall Street Journal reported.”

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