A Stanford University study has found some 82 percent of middle-school students were unable to distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on the Web, The Wall Street reports.
According to the newspaper, the survey of some 7,804 students from middle-school through college also found:
Many students judged the credibility of “news-like tweets on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source.
Over two out of three middle-schoolers couldn’t see a valid reason to question a post written by a bank executive arguing that young people need more financial-planning help.
Nearly four in 10 high-school students believed, based on the headline, that a photo of deformed daisies on a photo-sharing site was “strong evidence” of toxins near a nuclear plant in Japan, even though there was no source or location listed.