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  • 11.22.16

Study: Most teens can’t tell the difference between fake and real news

In a study of 7,804 students from middle school through college, Stanford University researchers found that 82% of middle-schoolers could not distinguish sponsored content—even when explicitly labeled as such—from a news story on the same site. When it came to Facebook, 30% of high school students were duped into thinking a post from a fake Facebook account was more reliable because it offered “key graphic elements,” and 25% of those students did not understand what the blue verified checkmark signaled. 

The conclusion? Fluency in social media doesn’t mean you are more attuned to misinformation. “Our work shows the opposite to be true,” lead author Sam Wineburg said

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