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Social media: how news finds Americans

Social media: how news finds Americans

(CNN, KYMA/KECY) – The U.S. Surgeon General is requiring a warning label on social media apps because of the threat they pose to children.

That’s because half of American adults say they get their news from social media at least occasionally, and a new survey shows that Facebook, X, Instagram and TikTok all have different ways to get the news to you.

“It’s quick and convenient. They often go there for entertainment,” said Elisa Shearer, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center.

Most news consumers on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X report seeing inaccurate news at least occasionally.

But those who read or watch news on X and Facebook will most likely say they see news that often seems inaccurate. This is evident from a new report from the Pew Research Center.

“There’s kind of a different level of expectation on these platforms than there is in the traditional ways that people get news, because they don’t go there for news,” Shearer said.

Skepticism

The survey also found that Democrats tend to be more skeptical of information on X, while Republicans are more skeptical of information on Facebook. Skepticism is healthy, says media literacy advocate Erin McNeill.

“An important question is: ‘Who is the author?’ ‘Who made this?’ And then a question that follows is: ‘Why, what is the purpose?’ McNeill spoke.

And younger minds may have an even harder time.

“Just because they know how to use the technology doesn’t mean they understand the consequences,” McNeill noted.

Legislation is no substitute for education

On Monday, US Surgeon General Dr. Vikek Murthy for Congress to put a warning label on social media apps because of the threat it poses to children.

“Not only have companies failed to demonstrate that their platforms are not safe for children, but there is mounting evidence of harm. A warning label could help parents understand these risks. Many parents do not know these risks exist.”

Dr. Vikek Murthy, US Surgeon General

But advocates say legislation is no substitute for education.

“It’s not enough, it’s never enough. The young people themselves have to have the skills,” McNeill continued.