Nearly nine in ten (84%) of Ghanaian youth polled suggest that the rise of ‘fake news’ breaking out across their country and around the continent has impacted their ability to stay informed, according to the African Youth Survey (AYS).
Commissioned by the South African-based Ichikowitz Family Foundation, the survey also indicates that leading social media platforms Facebook and WhatsApp were deemed untrustworthy by over one-third of Ghana’s youth population (37% and 35%, respectively).
The AYS is said to be one of the most comprehensive research on Africa’s youth to date. Conducted by PSB Research (part of WPP Group), the study involved face-to-face interviews with young Africans (aged 18-24) men and women, held across the major urban centres of Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to the survey, almost four in ten (37%) polled in Ghana believe that social-media-driven fake news affects them a “great deal”. Worryingly, however, over seven in ten (71%) of those polled in Ghana claim that they predominantly use the internet and social media to read and share articles, surveyed amongst all media platforms as one of the most popular methods of news consumption and checked at least 2-3 times a day by over one-third of the populous surveyed (34%). Google was also notably viewed as trustworthy by nearly three-quarters of the population (74%).
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