As regards to the implementation of the CLASS project, executed with the financial support provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA's financial mechanism, the European Institute carried out a consultation to young people between 10-25 years old.
The respondents were asked which are the items that they cannot live without. 92.9% of the participants point out smartphone, tablet/laptop and television share the second place with 42.9%. With only 21%, the book takes the third place.
To a question related to the time spent online, 60% of young people indicate that they spend most of their spare time online.
To questions concerning the frequency of visiting different networks, the answer “very often” is given about Facebook and Instagram – 53.3%, and Messenger and YouTube have 73.3%. About TikTok the most common answer is “rarely”. “Rarely” is also the answer to the question about the frequency of visiting informational websites.
What does the youth do while browsing the Internet – watching movies, listening to music or communicating with friends? According to respondents’ answers, the majority rarely watches movies and listens to music. 73.3% share that while being online, they mainly communicate with friends on social networks. The ones who often look for additional information online for school are only 20%. As many as 73.3% are the ones who look “very often” for information about topics they find interesting.
Being asked whether they read or watch news online, 73.3% of young people declare that they do that rarely. Most of the young people (33.3%) inform themselves about the news in the country and the world through social networks, and secondly (26.7%) from television or radio news.
To the question “Am I able to distinguish false from real news?” no definite negative answer is observed, but the percentage ratio between “Yes” and "Sometimes" is almost equal (53.3%: 46.7%).
60% of young people share that they often come across fake news. To the question who should help us distinguish false information, respondents are definite (66.7%) that these are their parents. Influencers follow (20%) and teachers and schools take the third place (13.3%).
Finally, we present you a part of young people’s answers to the question “What fake news is and what is its purpose?”:
• False information, quite intriguing at first look, which is spread in order to become popular and its creators to make money from it.
• A piece of news, aiming to disinform the society and distortion of its views in a direction chosen by the author of the false content.
• Misleading people, gives wrong and unverified information.
• Something that tries to lie to me.
The CLASS project is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA's financial mechanism. The aim of the project is to encourage the media literacy and civic education.
The entire responsibility for the content of this article is held by the European Institute Foundation and under no circumstances can it be assumed that it reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Bulgarian Operator of the Active Citizens Fund.