News and Media Research Centre
University of Canberra
Building 9, Level C, Room 10
Bumping into news on social media lowers people’s trust in it
Written by Sora Park and Jee Young Lee
Social media has become an incredibly important source of news information, globally. But how does how people encounter news on social media affect their trust in it? In new research, Sora Park and Jee Young Lee analyzed survey responses from Australia, the UK and the US find that the context of people’s Facebook news consumption is important: finding news on Facebook by accident is linked to people trusting news found on social media – though not news as a whole – less. Self-curation of news on social media, they write, may be one way for social media users to maintain trust in what they read.
Social media has become an important source of news among global citizens; one-third of the global population use Facebook as a source of news. In new research, we explored how people encounter news on social media and what it is doing to their trust in news.
Using online survey data that was collected as part of Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2021, we analyzed nearly 1,300 respondents who regularly use Facebook for news in Australia, the UK and the US.