After reports that TikTok and Instagram are becoming websites for people making vacation plans, there are new findings that these apps (alongside YouTube) are increasingly becoming a news source for young people.
according to one Ofcom report (opens in new tab) (a UK communications regulator) these three social media platforms are the top three sources among teens surveyed. For slightly older people in the 16-24 age group, social media and the internet were also their favorite way to watch the news, with the internet in general outperforming more traditional options (such as television, newspapers and radio) in range of 25 to 34 years. and 35-44 groups.
However, despite its growing popularity, news coming from social media is still the least trusted – which is consistent with its ranking in 2020 – with only about a third of people using social media for news actually trusting it. what they read there. In comparison, around 75% of people who listen to local BBC radio trust what they hear in these reports.
While “fake news” has been adopted as a term used by some bad actors when referring to any report they personally dislike, it is still a legitimate concern. Social media and the accessibility of the internet have facilitated the spread of disinformation, but whether from new or more traditional platforms, how do you avoid fake news?
How to Avoid Fake News on TikTok, YouTube and Anywhere Else
One of the most important factors in assessing whether or not the news is fake is looking at the source of the information being reported.
A big advantage of online news (whether it’s a site like or a social media platform) is that it’s often easy to link to where the information originally came from. TV and radio also often cite where they got their data from, but it’s obviously a little less convenient than just pressing a hyperlink.
Case in point, instead of just believing us when we say Ofcom said what we wrote, you can follow a link to the report we’ve incorporated above to verify the information for yourself.
But while not citing sources in any type of story can be an immediate red flag, you also need to be careful about who or what is being cited. While Ofcom has a solid track record for writing credible reports and fixing their mistakes, not all places are so good. If the original information comes from somewhere that is known to be in the past or from a source that has a very short history, then it may not be the most reliable.
Also, it pays to understand the context of the information. If it is a study, how was it funded and could outside influences have an impact on the data? For example, if a beverage brand said that a study they paid for found their new product to be the tastiest, healthiest drink ever made, you might want to take the results with a pinch of salt.
I hope these tips and tricks can help you avoid fake news online and learn which news sources you can trust.
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