“Young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: ,” concluded a recent study by the Stanford History Education Group. The research studied responses from online evaluative tasks of students ranging from middle school to college. For example, more than 80 percent of middle-schoolers believed that a web ad, identified with the words “sponsored content,” was a real news story. Similarly, more than 80 percent of high school students had difficulty telling the difference between faked photos and real ones. “Despite their fluency with social media, many students are unaware of basic conventions for indicating verified digital information … in every case and at every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation".
Stanford History Education Group (2016). Evaluating information: The cornerstone of civic online reasoning. Stanford, CA: Stanford History Education Group. https://stacks.stanford.edu/file/druid:fv751yt5934/SHEG%20Evaluating%20Information%20Online.pdf