Majority of youth share news without verifying sources
Republic Polytechnic students conduct survey about young people's behaviour relating to fake news
About two-thirds of youth here sometimes share news without verifying sources.
But more than half of youth will make a correction if the information they share turns out to be fake.
This is according to a survey carried out by a group of Diploma in Consumer Behaviour and Research students from Republic Polytechnic (RP) to find out how adept youth are in identifying fake news, verifying news sources and dealing with the sharing of this information online.
The RP students are part of the school's Youth Panel initiative, started in June last year to help organisations find out more about young people's habits and preferences.
Mr Eugene Lee, a senior lecturer at RP's School of Management and Communication, told The New Paper: "We wanted to understand the youth's attitudes towards fake news and if they validate news sources and how they do so."
The survey encompassed about 150 respondents aged 15 to 24.
It also found that 67 per cent of youth know how to verify news sources.
I think awareness of fake news needs more education as the sites are increasingly real-looking.Director of thinkBIG Communications, Ms Belinda Ang
If the shared news turns out to be fake, only slightly more than half - 57 per cent - will make a correction.
Out of 10 times, about two-thirds, or 67 per cent, of those surveyed share news one to five times without verifying the facts.
Nanyang Technological University communications professor Ang Peng Hwa said: "It's worrying millennials share news without verifying it, but I think it depends on the potential impact. Their concerns are not of a serious political nature so I don't see major harm coming from them."
Separately, about 75 per cent of respondents said they will have some negative feelings if they realised news that they shared was fake.
Social media consultant Belinda Ang, director of thinkBIG Communications, thinks that although Singapore youth are aware of this issue, they may not be sufficiently equipped.
She said: "I think awareness of fake news needs more education as the sites are increasingly real-looking, like replicas of official news sites.
"I would say our youth do recognise the importance of deciphering fact from fiction, but they may not possess the right know-how (to do it)."