Older children are less trusting of news on social media than from other sources, and employ a range of measures to separate fact from fiction, Ofcom research has found.
More than half (54 per cent) of 12-15 year olds use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to access online news, making it the second most popular source of news after television (62 per cent).
The news children read through social media is provided by third-party websites. While some of these may be reputable news organisations, others may not.
But many children are wise to these risks. Just 32 per cent of 12-15 year olds who say social media is one of their top news sources believe news accessed through these sites is always, or mostly, reported truthfully, compared to 59 per cent who say this about TV and 59 per cent about radio.
Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of online tweens are aware of the concept of ‘fake news’, and four in ten (39 per cent) say they have seen a fake news story online or on social media.
The findings are from Ofcom’s Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report 2017. This year, the report examines for the first time how children aged 12 to15 consume news and online content.