You’ve probably ran into a few bogus pieces of news out on your Facebook adventures at one point or another. And you may be doing a good job at dodging it for the most part. You also probably believe that everyone else can draw on the same level of news-savviness as you. You’d be wrong.
A new study led by Sam Wineburg from Stanford University found that up to a frightening 80% of surveyed US middle school students can’t tell the difference between fake news and actual news stories. An even higher percentage had no qualms to take information from anonymous Imgur posts as reliable facts at face value. Even worse, we believe that we’re doing a good job of weeding out the bad content from the rest just because we can get to it.
    “Many people assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally perceptive about what they find there,” said lead researcher Sam Wineburg from Stanford University.
    “Our work shows the opposite to be true.”
Fake news can take many shapes. Sponsored or advertising content, information from dubious sources, even straight-up fabrications that go viral all qualify. For example, there was the story that one FBI agent who was directly involved in the Hillary emails investigation was found dead in his apartment. Or that Pope Francis is all for Trump being president. Both stories had less much truth in them than there’s bagel in the bagel’s hole.