A recent report from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer claimed that users of social media in Britain would want the platforms to tighten regulation and just about only one in four Britons completely trusts what is said on the social media.
Not enough is being done by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to stop illegal and unethical behavior which includes cyber-bullying and extremism, believes two-thirds of Britons, the survey report said.
However last year, there has been a sharp rise in faith in traditional journalism.
Social media companies now need to sit up and take heed of these comments now, Edelman said.
“The public want action on key issues related to online protection, and to see their concerns addressed through better regulation. Failure on their part to act risks further erosion of trust and therefore public support.” said Ed Williams, chief executive of Edelman UK, a marketing and public relations firm.
While about 64 per cent of Britons claimed their inability to differentiate between proper journalism and fake news, over half of the Briton surveyed were worried about the proliferation of fake news on social media.
It was just days that Facebook announced change in its algorithm which would result in favoring more of personal content instead of news. This would essentially have the effect of promotion of more posts from family and friends in the news feed of fusers before any of those from businesses, brands and media are put up. This makes personal content more prominent.
The survey further showed that about 64 per cent of Britishers are pf the opinion that there is insufficient regulation off social media companies, about 63 per cent believe such companies lack transparency and another 62 per cent are of the opinion that such companies are not taking permission from people before using their data.
More than 3000 people were included in the survey in the U.K. about one third of the sample were in the age bracket of 16-18 years.
The sources on social media that respondents consider as “very/extremely credible” was also examined by the Edelman research. With 54 per cent of the respondents choosing “a person like yourself” as source, the users exhibited a high degree of dependency in their peer group as a credible source.
Business and specialist experts also gained in trust and there was a high gain for journalists since the survey started. However, trust in government remained at the bottom of the league even though their credibility has increased.
There was a rise in confidence off 13 per cent in traditional media which also included broadcasters and print, to record a high confidence level off 61 per cent in 2017.
“As we look at some of the big problems we face in the 21st Century, it should be of significant concern to us all that we are becoming a nation of news skimmers and news avoiders,” said Mr Williams.
“It’s frightening that the professional classes, the people we rely on to take an interest in social affairs and to hold politicians to account, are the most pronounced news avoiders.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)