By Dave Van Zandt
According to a global survey conducted by MediaWise, a digital media literacy initiative from Poynter, most adults are concerned about encountering misleading and AI-generated images but feel unprepared to identify them. The study, supported by Google and conducted by Morning Consult, polled over 10,000 individuals in the U.S. and the U.K. It revealed that about 50% encounter false images weekly, and over 80% view this as a societal issue. Nearly 75% of respondents lacked confidence in their ability to spot misinformation.
MediaWise director Alex Mahadevan stated, “Visual misinformation poses a significant risk to the information ecosystem. The general lack of confidence in identifying such content underscores the immediate need for digital media literacy.”
The survey also found that 60% are highly concerned about AI-generated misinformation, yet less than a third use reverse image searches to verify an image’s origin. Nidhi Hebbar, Senior Product Manager at Google Search, said, “We are not only committed to delivering quality information but also to creating new literacy tools to help people understand what they find online.”
Additionally, fewer than 40% of respondents engage in basic fact-checking, such as verifying the source or checking the publication date. MediaWise, operational since 2018, aims to educate various demographics on discerning fact from fiction online. They recommend asking three key questions: Who is providing the information? What evidence supports it? What do other sources say?
Mahadevan added, “The data suggests a significant opportunity for media literacy organizations to bridge the skills gap in identifying visual misinformation.”
Primary Source: Poynter