Teens Now Trust YouTubers More Than Journalists
Teens would rather keep up on current events through YouTube and other social media platforms instead of news agencies, a new survey found.
Over half of the 1,000 teens who responded to the poll, sponsored by SurveyMonkey and the media advocacy non-profit Common Sense Media, said they prefer YouTube to established news outlets, according to USA Today. Given recent news about how YouTube promotes conspiracy theories and other misinformation, the results are an unfortunate glimpse of the future of media literacy.
Of the teens who go to social media for news, about 60 percent specifically relied on celebrities or other influencers to tell them what’s been going on, according to the poll. They also clarified that they understood that their sources of news were less reliable than established media.
“We don’t necessarily have a great sense of whether those influencers or celebrities have standards and ethics, or what kind of disclosures they’re making,” Michael Robb, senior director of research at Common Sense, told USA Today. “Are they objective sources or not? How trustworthy is their research? There’s a whole host of things that you would need to understand to know whether something is more legitimate. I’m not sure that is clear when you’re getting it from a celebrity, influencer or personality.”