Friday, 20 November 2015

Three out of four surveys are made up, fact

I love a good survey. Not least because when I started out in PR 17 years ago it was the easiest way to get coverage for what was otherwise a really boring topic like breakdown insurance.

My favourite was a survey of what people keep in their glovebox.

Sunglasses are an essential item for driving in the winter sun don't you know?

Hilariously I just checked and the Green Flag team are still issuing drivers with the same important information!

Anyway, I digress.

Ofcom has published an interesting report claiming children are becoming more trusting of what they see online, but sometimes lack the understanding to decide whether it is true or impartial.

Ofcom's Children and Parents: Media and Attitudes report, published today, reveals children aged 8-15 are spending more than twice as much time online as they did a decade ago, reaching over 15 hours each week in 2015.

But apparently nearly one in ten (8%) of all children aged 8-15 who go online believe information from social media websites or apps is “all true” - doubling from 4% in 2014.

Now, let's just pause there. Eight per cent is one in 12, not one in ten. It's probably fair to say eight per cent of social content is all true, so they are right. Or 92% of kids are smart enough to query whether what they see or read is right.


Next part.

'Children are increasingly turning to YouTube for “true and accurate” information about what's going on in the world. The video sharing site is the preferred choice for this kind of information among nearly one in ten (8%) online children, up from just 3% in 2014.'

Nowt wrong there then. Other than eight per cent isn't one in ten.

'But only half of 12-15s (52%) who watch YouTube are aware that advertising is the main source of funding on the site...'.

So, I wonder if 12-15s who watch iPlayer know their parents pay a licence fee? Not challenging the point, just would be interested to see whether half don't care, hence don't know, not don't know as in are ignorant of the fact.

'...and less than half (47%) are aware that 'vloggers' (video bloggers) can be paid to endorse products or services.'

A slightly more contentious point, so I'll navigate carefully.

But, not all vloggers are paid, and of those that are only a small fraction of their content is paid for advertising. Hence perhaps not an altogether surprising point. In fact half know you can earn a living being a YouTuber. Wow. Smart kids.

James Thickett, Ofcom's Director of Research, said: "The internet allows children to learn, discover different points of view and stay connected with friends and family. But these digital natives still need help to develop the know-how they need to navigate the online world."

No-one can argue with that sentiment, in fact I blogged something similar yesterday.

But did you also know three out of four surveys are nonsense? True that.

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