The relationship between the belief in fake news and the strategies to seek information from young Portuguese people
Keywords:Fake News, high school students, news, social media, disinformation
AbstractThe spread of fake news continues to have serious social and political consequences for society. Young people are the group most exposed to this reality, due to the way they are constantly connected to the digital universe. Our goal is to analyze the ability of high school students to evaluate fake news and news, relating it to their behavior on social media and their ability to search for information. We applied a questionnaire to 716 students (Mage = 16.63, SD = 1.18), in which they were exposed to 10 headlines (5 news and 5 fake news). Subsequently, students indicated how often they accessed certain sources and what strategies they used to search for information for school research. In addition, they also revealed how often they opt for certain behaviors on social media. The results revealed that young people considered, on average, news more credible than fake news. The belief in fake news revealed significant differences in relation to the sex and region of the respondents. While the credibility of the news tends to be positively correlated with a more rigorous treatment of information, the belief in fake news is, on the other hand, more associated with less careful treatment of information and the use of social media as a news source. These results also confirm the widespread lack of interest in news by young people. Most students tend to avoid news, with 27% doing so frequently. This study highlights the importance of digital literacy and civic participation in young people in the construction of future societies.
How to Cite
Baptista, J. P., Gradim, A., & Correia, E. (2022). The relationship between the belief in fake news and the strategies to seek information from young Portuguese people. Observatorio (OBS*), 16(3). https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS16320222082