《TAIPEI TIMES》Young people trust famous influencers, survey shows
Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are pictured on a smartphone screen on July 13, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Staff writer, with CNA
Young Taiwanese use YouTube more than any other digital platform and generally trust information from popular Internet celebrities, a survey released on Wednesday by the King Car Cultural and Educational Foundation showed.
In the survey, students from the upper grades of elementary school through high school were asked what platforms they regularly used and how they assessed the credibility of the information they encountered.
The survey found that 80.2 percent of respondents regularly consumed content from YouTube, followed by television at 65.7 percent, TikTok at 50.7 percent, Instagram at 48.8 percent and Facebook at 47.9 percent.
Asked what sources of information were reliable, 45.3 percent of respondents said television, 42.7 percent said no sources could be trusted absolutely and 39.8 percent said they trusted information from their family and friends.
The survey also found that students tended to grant more credence to information from popular outlets and individuals.
For instance, 70.2 percent of respondents said media outlets with high viewership or circulation tended to have the best quality, while 68.2 percent said information from famous influencers with large numbers of followers could generally be trusted.
In terms of guaranteeing accuracy, 86.6 percent said media outlets should have legal responsibility for their content, while 70.4 percent said that if someone sent them erroneous information, they would let them know.
However, 38.1 percent of respondents said they used fact-checking platforms.
The survey results showed the popularity of image and video-based content among the younger generation, as well as the importance of building information literacy adapted to those forms, foundation director Joyce Tseng （曾清芸） told a news conference.
The shift toward short-form videos meant that a lot of content only presented viewers with conclusions, said Liu Hui-wen （劉慧雯）, a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of Communication.
For students, this can lead to shallow thinking, as well as an inability to describe a topic and explain their views about it, Liu said.
The teaching of media literacy skills could help reverse this trend, Liu added.
The survey, conducted from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, was based on 21,632 valid samples from Taiwanese students. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3 percentage points.