Poll: The buzzer generation is the most exposed to disinformation
The more you use the Internet for entertainment, the easier it is for you to hang noodles on your ears.
Psychologists at the University of Cambridge have developed the first validated “misinformation sensitivity test”: a quick two-minute test that assesses a person’s ability to tell real news from fake news. The test consists of 20 headings to be classified as true or false.
The YouGov test, which proved effective in a series of experiments involving more than 8,000 people over the course of two years, measures how susceptible Americans are to fake headlines.
The first survey, called “MIST,” developed using an early version of ChatGPT, found that, on average, US adults correctly classified two-thirds (65%) of headlines as real or fake.
According to the survey, young people aged 18 to 29 (11%) are worse than adults aged 65 and over (36%) at detecting false headlines, and the more time a user spends online for entertainment, the more susceptible they are to misinformation. About 30% of those who spend up to 2 hours on the Internet every day for the purpose of entertainment scored high compared to 15% of those who spend 9 or more hours on the Internet.
The most reliable sources of news turned out to be “hardened” media such as the Associated Press or NPR. More than 50% of those who received news from the Associated Press, NPR, or newer publications such as Axios received high scores.
On social media, the audience is most susceptible to misinformation. About 53% of those who received news from Snapchat received low ratings, and only 4% received high ratings. Truth Social came in second, followed by WhatsApp, TikTok and Instagram*.
Democrats (33%) did better than Republicans (14%) on the MIST, but nearly 25% of bipartisans scored poorly. Moreover, 50% of Americans said they see false information on the Internet every day.
According to experts, MIST will test the effectiveness of interventions to combat fake news. The experts want to find out why some people are more resistant to disinformation and what they can learn from them.
Researchers offer the public their own pass the test . For choosing true or false among 20 headlines, the user receives points and a “sustainability” rating, which can be compared with the rating of the US population. The execution takes less than two minutes.