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1/5 of Children Have Unquestioning Faith in the #Internet and #SocialMedia

Houston IT Solutions
New studies by Ofcom show that millions of children in Britain believe everything they read on the internet to be true. Compiled by the communications watchdog, the report looked into children and parent's attitudes to the media.

Just under 20% of children aged 12-15 are apparently unable to differentiate between scholarly fact and information motivated by personal bias or monetary incentive. This is an issue particularly on search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo, where speculative information is passed off as reliable research. The study also found that 2/3 of those young people are unable to identify paid-for adverts as opposed to 'genuine' results.

With children spending an average of 15 hours a week online, this generation are becoming more experienced with social media, but also becoming more impressionable. This contests the common misconception that so-called 'digital natives' are more astute when it comes to social media. The news could be worrying as the influence of the internet on young people's thoughts, tastes and opinions grows. The young people surveyed were unaware that vloggers are often paid to endorse products on sites such as YouTube and their opinions are not always organic. Just 52% were aware that YouTube's main source of income is advertising.

With the news that terrorist organisations such as ISIS are increasingly recruiting young people with the help of social media, it is a social imperative that young people are aware of the authenticity and factual accuracy of their internet consumption. 

James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of research, said: ‘Children can find their way about the internet but they’re lacking the nous to work out what is helpful and what might be a scam…They’re not stopping and thinking. Potentially, it could make them vulnerable.’

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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1/5 of Children Have Unquestioning Faith in the #Internet and #SocialMedia Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, November 21, 2015 Rating: 5

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