One in four trust news on social media

A new survey has shown that only 24 per cent of the UK population trust social media channels when looking for news and information.

The Edelman trust barometer, published each year, discovered that 64 per cent of 1,050 UK respondents worried that social media companies were not regulated enough, 69 per cent agreed that they did not do enough to prevent bullying and 70 per cent that there was insufficient action to stop illegal or unethical behaviour on networks.

The survey says that the growth of fake news has instigated a 13-point increase in support for traditional media, to 61 per cent – the highest level since 2012. 53 per cent of people polled said they worried about being exposed to fake news on social media, leading to only 42 per cent of people skimming headlines on social media but not clicking in content links.

Amy Orben, a social media psychologist and lecturer at Oxford University, said: “Social media companies are just experiencing what some of their more traditional rivals experienced at their launch. With any new technology, you have a spark of interest and at some point the baby is thrown out with the bathwater. The public debate has changed over the last year. There have been a lot of worrying statistics which have led the public discourse to change and these numbers are a reflection of that.”

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