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Over 90% of youth believes fake news can sway voting choices: Study 

About 66% of Delhi's Gen Z rely on digital platforms like YouTube, social media, and online articles for their news.

“90% of youth believes fake news,” according to a report by The 23 Watts, a modern communication consulting firm. In today’s digital era, characterized by the rampant spread of misinformation, this statistic underscores a pressing concern. The report delves into how Delhi’s youth, particularly Generation Z, interact with and are influenced by ‘fake news.’ Shockingly, the findings reveal a pervasive influence, emphasizing the urgent need for strategies to combat this concerning trend.

The study titled ‘Truth Be Told’ surveyed over 1,200 individuals under the age of 25 in the Delhi-NCR region, revealing troubling trends about how fake news impacts young people’s perceptions and decision-making processes.

90% of youth believes fake news
Source: The Financial Express

“An alarming 90% of respondents noted an uptick in fake news consumption during national events, suggesting a vulnerability to misinformation when it could have the most significant impact. This statistic echoes the concerning trend revealed in the study, where 90% of youth believes fake news, conducted by The 23 Watts, a modern communication consulting firm. The findings underscore the critical need for interventions to address the susceptibility of individuals, particularly during crucial events, to false information that can sway opinions and decisions.”

More concerning is that 91% of those surveyed believe fake news can influence voting decisions, highlighting the critical threat posed to democratic integrity by misinformation.

The study further explores how misinformation affects the youth’s worldview, with 80% admitting that fake news has altered their perceptions and opinions. This distortion often leads to a skewed understanding of reality, driven by sensationalized and emotionally charged content that captivates 59% of the surveyed group.

Implications of Youth’s 90% of youth believes fake news

Despite a strong inclination among the respondents to verify news sources, with 95% claiming they check the authenticity of the information, a significant 45% have unknowingly shared unverified news later identified as false. This highlights a gap between intent and action, emphasizing the challenges in combating fake news effectively, especially considering that 90% of youth believe fake news, as revealed in the study conducted by The 23 Watts, a modern communication consulting firm.

Only a minority, 29%, utilize fact-checking websites, pointing to a need for increased awareness and use of reliable verification tools. This underutilization underscores the importance of enhancing media literacy and critical thinking skills among young individuals.

The broader societal implications of fake news are also evident, with 62% viewing it as a tool used to manipulate and tarnish reputations, thus potentially disrupting social cohesion and trust. In light of these findings, it’s clear that addressing the issue is paramount, especially considering that 90% of youth believes fake news, as highlighted in the study by The 23 Watts, a modern communication consulting firm. Consequently, 89% of respondents believe that the government should play a more proactive role in combating fake news, with 69% advocating for stricter regulations.

With 66% of Delhi’s Gen Z relying on digital platforms like YouTube, social media, and online articles for their news, the need for responsible content moderation and transparent algorithms is more crucial than ever to prevent the spread of misinformation.

While sharing views on the report, Vijay Ganesan, former director of analytics & data strategy at Kantar in Europe, noted, “This research explores these themes in detail with an ideal balance with the Quantitative approach needed for a piece of reliable empirical evidence and equally complemented by in-depth insights unlocked through qualitative research to understand motivations and behaviours. It’s an evolving area of research and this is an attempt to demystify the larger community. I am sure it will unlock more and more such unknowns in its immediate future iterations.”

You might also be interested in – Bihar YouTuber Manish Kashyap, arrested in the T.N. fake news case, joins BJP

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