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Facebook Losing out to YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat Among US Teens

Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teenage life

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YouTube removes 7.8 mn violative videos in July-Sept. Pixabay
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YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among US teenagers today, pushing Facebook, which once dominated the social media landscape, to the fourth position, according to a new survey.

Today, roughly half (51 percent) of US teenagers between ages 13 and 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Facebook-owned Instagram or Snapchat, showed the Pew Research Center survey results released on Thursday.

While 85 per cent teenagers use YouTube, 72 per cent use Instagram and 69 per cent use Snapchat, showed the survey conducted between March 7-April 10 this year.

Notably, lower-income teenagers are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households.

Facebook is reportedly going down in comparison to other apps.
Facebook is reportedly going down in comparison to other apps. Pixabay

Seven-in-ten teenagers living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 per cent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more, the results showed.

Interestingly, girls were more likely than boys to say Snapchat is the site they use most often, while boys were more inclined than girls to identify YouTube as their go-to platform.

This shift in social media use of teenagers is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Pew Research Center’s last survey of teenagers and technology use in 2014-2015.

Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teenage life.

Fully 95 per cent of teenagers in the US have today access to a smartphone, and 45 per cent say they are online “almost constantly”, the results showed.

The shares of teenagers who use Twitter and Tumblr are largely comparable to the shares who did so in the 2014-2015 survey.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The survey also found there is no clear consensus among teenagers about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today.

Minorities of teenagers describe that effect as mostly positive (31 per cent) or mostly negative (24 per cent), but the largest share (45 per cent) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative, the survey showed.

It also revealed that while a majority of both boys and girls play video games, gaming is nearly universal for boys.

Also Read: Report: Twitter Users Who Joined Before Age 13 Facing Ban

Overall, 84 per cent of teenagers say they have or have access to a game console at home, and 90 per cent say they play video games of any kind – whether on a computer, game console or cellphone.

While a substantial majority of girls report having access to a game console at home (75 per cent) or playing video games in general (83 per cent), those shares are even higher among boys.

Roughly nine-in-ten boys (92 per cent) have or have access to a game console at home, and 97 per cent say they play video games in some form or fashion, the results showed. (IANS)

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Facebook Dismisses Report of Journalists’ Frustration With Fact-Checking

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised

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Facebook, data
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has dismissed a media report that claimed journalists working as factcheckers for the social media giant are frustrated and are ending partnerships as the company failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.

A report in The Guardian on Thursday said outside reporters have lost trust in Facebook, “which has repeatedly refused to release meaningful data about the impacts of their work”.

Reacting to the report, Meredith Carden, Head of News Integrity Partnerships at Facebook, said the Guardian story presents several inaccuracies.

“Contrary to a claim in the story, we absolutely do not ask fact-checkers to prioritise debunking content about our advertisers,” Carden said in statement.

The report, she added, is based primarily on the account of a single fact-checker who has not been involved with the Facebook fact-checking program for six months.

“We have been committed to fighting misinformation for years now and have strong relationships with our third-party fact-checking partners — we now have 35 partners in 24 countries around the world,” said Facebook.

The report quoted Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years, as saying that the social network is using journalists for handling crisis PR.

“They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care,” said Binkowski, who now runs her own fact-checking site which does not partner with Facebook.

According to Facebook, it values the ongoing partnerships and the work that these journalists do.

The third-party fact checking programme was launched in 2016 after the US Presidential election.

Facebook, data
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We’re planning to expand the programme to even more countries in 2019,” said Carden.

According to Facebook, three separate researches have found that the overall volume of false news on Facebook is decreasing since it put up third-party fact-checking programme and other anti-misinformation measures in place.

However, The Guardian report said the company has ignored journalists’ concerns.

Some newsroom leaders said “they had grown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially following revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after opponents by publicising their association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros”.

A New York Times investigation in November suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.

Also Read- Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt Won Favourite Actors at Kids Choice Awards

Reacting to the report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg denied they had any prior knowledge about this firm.

“It was later revealed that Sheryl Sandberg had directed her staff to research Soros’s financial interests after he publicly criticised the company,” the Guardian report said.

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised.

“They are a terrible company and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” said the anonymous factchecker. (IANS)