Aysha Anwar is a fourth-year Communications, Public Relations, and Politics student at Ryerson University. She is a writer, dreamer, and friend—intrigued by the intersections of digital media, community building, and empathy-driven strategy. Before joining IBM Canada as a Communications Intern, Aysha worked with the Ontario Public Service, Ryerson Leadership Lab, and House of Commons in various capacities. She is a member of the City of Vaughan’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and an active volunteer with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Keep up with her on Twitter.
The state of our information ecosystem—how we access, perceive, and share knowledge—has shifted astronomically over the last decade. The rise of digital public squares like Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok contribute to higher levels of misinformation, creating open space for fake news, rhetoric, and conspiracy within public discourse. Growing up in the age of social media, Generation Z (Gen Z) is often believed to be immune to the spread of false information—savvy enough to chase down the origins of a viral story or search for further context. This research project works to better understand Gen Z’s navigation of misinformation online and determine if individuals of the first digital generation really are well-equipped to understand, handle, and act on it. 86% of Gen Z say they are either “confident” or “very confident” in their ability to spot misinformation online. Preliminary analysis suggests that Gen Z is overconfident in their understanding of misinformation on social media and undereducated in their approach and recognition of its complexities.
technology; social media; misinformation; gen z