By Russell Louis C. Ku 

THE ABILITY of youth voters to spot fake news does not match their confidence in being able to do so, according to a survey conducted by the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government (ASoG). 

The survey was conducted in two rounds, with the first round taking place in nine vote-rich cities with a total of 7,744 respondents while the second round was expanded to 15 vote-rich cities with 24,625 respondents. 

During the first round, more than half or 61.7% of respondents said that they are somewhat confident with their skill in spotting fake news, while 67% of total respondents scored six or below in their ten-item fake news quiz, which is below the supposed 7.5 passing score for the test.   

A similar result was shown in the second round where 63% were somewhat confident in finding fake news, but only averaged 6.9 out of 10 in the fake news test.  

The ASoG along with pro-democracy coalition Participate PH revealed these findings from their Pinoy Voters’ Vibe youth survey in a news briefing on Wednesday.  

The survey also found that high support for presidential candidate and Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo was tied to higher accuracy in spotting fake news while high support for President Rodrigo R. Duterte was correlated to lower accuracy.    

“These results actually surprised us given that the fake news items are imperatively biased towards pro-administration figures and following the assumption of confirmation bias,” said ASoG Associate Professor Imelda B. Deinla.  

She added that the high likelihood to vote in the 2022 polls and high trust in mainstream media was also correlated to higher ability to distinguish fake news items. 

“The Philippine youth are now immersed in an environment and culture of fake news and if we want to create a better future of our youth, one who can judge right from wrong (and) who trust institutions, then we will need a collective effort to overcome misinformation,” Ms. Deinla said.  

The Commission on Elections said that 32.7 million youth account for 52% of the total registered voters for next year’s polls.