90% of people feel social media has a ‘fake news’ problem, study finds

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Tech week survey finds 38% noticed significant changes since the new GDPR laws were introduced

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15 May 2019 | 0

Nine out of ten people believe elections and social policy can be manipulated through misinformation on social media, according to research carried out by Coyne Research for the Irish Computer Society for Tech Week 2019.

With 1,000 participants, the study focused on how elections, education, employment and travel are impacted by technology.

It found 38% of adults noticed significant changes since GDPR was introduced and that 66% believe tablets have more educational benefit than printed books.

For 40% of adults, space travel within the next decade is viable, and AI becoming more prominent in everyday life is exciting.

There was near universal agreement that advances in tech will substantially impact the job market in the next decade.

Commenting on concerns over misinformation on social media, Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society, said: “Social media has become a more powerful force to assist and influence the spread of ideas and messages. Without doubt, social media has changed the nature of political campaigning and will continue to play a key role in future elections around the world.

“In this new hyper-connected age, fake news and online disinformation have become more-and-more prevalent.”

Digital literacy should be developed and improved and young people should be taught how to evaluate the information they find online, he said.

“We need to encourage the next generation of young people to create and not just consume technology. Tech Week 2019 is a fantastic way for students all over Ireland to engage with technology, learn about STEM related studies and make informed decisions as a result.”

Tech Week, Ireland’s technology festival, takes place May 11 to 18. Over 100,000 students will get involved in the festivities, with the Scratch Coding final, the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge and many more events taking place.

It is organised by the ICS Foundation, the social enterprise arm of the Irish Computer Society. Tech Week, is supported by Amazon Web Services and the Science Foundation Ireland.

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