More than six in 10 people, including in India, think they see false or misleading information on at least a weekly basis, a survey with participation from Google has revealed.
Roughly 50 per cent of all Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z respondents (ages 18 to 57) said they’re concerned about their family being exposed to it, according to a survey by the Poynter Institute in partnership with YouGov and support from Google.
The organisations surveyed more than 8,500 respondents of various ages in the US, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Nigeria, India and Japan.
“Gen Zers are two times more likely than the Silent Generation (people 68 or older) to use a search engine to verify information, and also two times more likely than Baby Boomers to check social media comments to verify something they’ve seen online,” said Alex Mahadevan, Director of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute.
They’re also more likely to use advanced search techniques, like reverse image search, or to engage in lateral reading — that’s when you open multiple tabs and perform multiple searches at once.
“We also learned that, when deciding if something they’ve heard or read about is true, respondents across all generations agree that the most important thing is whether conclusions are supported by sources or facts,” Mahadevan noted.
Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X feel slightly more confident in identifying false or misleading information than boomers and the Silent Generation, the findings showed.
The findings underscore how important it is to be able to trust the information you find online, and how taking the time to check multiple sources to verify what you see or to use resources like Google Search can be helpful in making sense of a complicated digital landscape, said the survey.