Is scrolling believing?

Young people use social media platforms far more than older people. But how much do they trust them?

We conducted a survey among 15–24 and 40+ year-olds across 21 countries to explore how childhood is changing.

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On average, what share of young people say they trust social media platforms "a lot" to provide accurate information?

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Social media platforms are by far the most common way young people get their information. That doesn't necessarily mean they trust what they're scrolling.

% of young people who trust a lot in
Social media platforms

On average, just 17% of young people say they put "a lot" of trust in information from social media platforms.

That's a lower share than those who trust a lot in traditional national media and international media, doctors and health care workers, and scientists - in every source we asked about!

While young people recognize that not everything they read is true, they generally report higher levels of trust than older people in various sources of information and institutions.

There is just one entity in which young people report significantly lower levels of trust than older people:

Religious institutions

By contrast, young people report significantly higher levels of trust than older people in the following information sources:

Social media platforms

National government

International news media


While young people on average express slightly more trust in social media than older people, there's a twist to this story:

Among people who rely on social media for their information, young people are 24% less likely to report a lot of trust in social media platforms compared to older users.

It turns out that most young netizens around the world are discerning consumers of what they read online.

How much do you trust the information you consume?

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Learn more about this aspect of how childhood is changing.

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