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Majority seeing ‘untrue or doubtful’ online information, CSO says

Over 60pc of Irish Internet users see information on social media platforms that is questionable, according to the CSO’s latest survey results.


There is a glut of unreliable information online, according to the CSO

There is a glut of unreliable information online, according to the CSO

There is a glut of unreliable information online, according to the CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office say that over 60pc of us see online information on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube which we consider “untrue or doubtful”.

The results come from the CSO’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Household Survey, carried out earlier this year.

Social media platforms are now a dominant source of information media in Ireland, with a majority of Irish adults using one or more platforms every day.

But content, including posts, links, videos and images are increasingly viewed with suspicion by Irish people.

Two thirds of us try to find out whether dubious claims are true by “checking sources or information online or by taking part in online and offline discussions on the content”, the CSO results say.

Others who doubt the source of information but don’t check its veracity, “already know the information content or source is unreliable”, according to the CSO.

“We are exposed to a very large amount of information, some of which is true, some of which is clearly untrue and some of which requires further evaluation and investigation,” said Maureen Delamere, a statistician at the CSO.

Other findings from the ICT survey include two-thirds of internet users aged 30 to 59 years refusing use of their personal data for advertising purposes, compared to 42pc of aged between 16 and 29 years of age.

And nearly six in every 10 internet users here restricted access to their geographical location in 2021, while less than four in 10 read privacy policy statements when providing personal information.

Almost three quarters (74pc) of internet users know that cookies can be used to trace their online activity, while four in 10 (40pc) take preventative action by changing the settings in their internet browser to prevent or limit cookies while nearly three in 10 (28pc) use software to limit cookies.

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