The young generation of “digital natives” is constantly confronted with a steady flow of online information, ranging from communicative formats like social media chats and comments to news formats of all kinds.
The Youth Report (2015) by the European Commission reveals that many young people build social networks combining global connectivity with local roots: 82% participated in online social networks in 2014, where they are exposed to an enormous amount of information. On the 14th international Safer Internet Day, taking place on 7 February 2017, the Austrian initiative Saferinternet.at (a project by our partner ÖIAT) presented the results of its recent study on the topic of “Internet rumors: How do teens evaluate information found on the Internet?”.
It showed that social networks are the main information resources for young people in Austria, although these sources are not perceived as trustworthy. 86% of the respondents indicated that they are insecure as to whether information found on the Internet is true. In addition, they expect support from their parents and their teachers to acquire media literacy.