Sunday 18 February 2018

Twitter users believe news should be fact-checked

Some 59pc of Twitter users follow a newspaper brand.
Some 59pc of Twitter users follow a newspaper brand.

Matthew Sparkes

Almost two thirds of people agree that news breaking on Twitter should be verified by traditional media organisations, according to new research.

The immediacy and open nature of social networks such as Twitter has changed the way in which news spreads, but most believe that it should still be fact-checked. Some 62 per cent of people said it was important that breaking news online was “verified by a respected brand”.

Some 59pc of Twitter users follow a newspaper brand. Just over a third of users follow a newspaper’s main Twitter account, while 17pc follow a specialist account owned by a newspaper and almost half of those surveyed (49pc) follow at least one journalist.

Those who follow newspapers are more likely to engage on Twitter, being 60pc more likely to visit daily and 109pc more likely to tweet, according to the #NewsOnTheTweet study conducted by YouGov.

Twitter has widened many people’s exposure to newspaper brands with 78pc of respondents following a newspaper brand other than their favourite title. Six in ten newspaper followers said that Twitter gives them the opportunity to engage with brands they would not normally read in print.

Bruce Daisley, managing director of Twitter UK, said: “People come to Twitter because it is live, public and conversational. This makes it a great place to follow breaking news and connect directly with news organisations and journalists. But while people discover news on Twitter, they rely on news organisations to provide more context and analysis. It is great to see the symbiotic relationship between Twitter and news brands confirmed by this piece of research.”

Rufus Olins, chief executive of national newspaper marketing group Newsworks, said that newspapers and Twitter have become “interdependent and mutually beneficial”.

“We are immersed in news. We want to be the first to know and also to be guided by expert insight and interpretation. The combination of news brands and Twitter helps keep us informed and opinionated. The insights from this study show that Twitter and newsbrands are most definitely stronger together,” he said.

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