BUSINESS

Greeks wise to online fake news

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Technology

Internet use rose in Greece by 9 percentage points from 2017 to 2019, according to a survey by the National Center of Social Research (EKKE).

The survey, titled “World Internet Project Greece – The Internet in Greece,” showed that 71% of Greeks used the internet last year, compared to 62.2% in 2017 and 59.8% in 2015.

Those who do not use the World Wide Web in Greece are mainly women (57.7%), not employed (84.1%), pensioners (61.7%), married (69.7%), over-65s (59%), with a monthly family income up to 1,000 euros (60.2%), secondary-education graduates (27.8%) and reside in Attica (28%), the survey commissioned by diaNEOsis and presented yesterday found.

Greeks who do use the internet define themselves as experienced users. They say they have been using its services for an average of 12.5 years and rank just below the French (13 years) and Americans (15 years).

Internet access in Greece is mainly conducted through computers (95.1%) and smartphones (81%), although smartphone users appear to access the internet more often during the day than computer users.

For all their experience, Greeks do not appear to trust the internet. Especially in terms of interpersonal relations through the Web, asked to rate how much they trust the system on a 0 to 10 scale (with 10 being the maximum), Greeks offered a score of just 1.89, with 44.16% of those surveyed giving a score of zero.

On the other hand, it appears the internet plays a key role in cultivating relations among people, especially for families and friends. The option of developing and maintaining relationships with peers of the same social status also ranks high. Therefore the Greeks do appear to utilize the web for cultivating relationships, but don’t believe everything that the people they interact with in cyberspace have to say.

Greeks are also pretty aware that they shouldn’t believe everything they read on the internet, as a remarkable rate of more than 80% of Greeks know the internet is also a conduit for fake news. Only 19.3% consider the medium to offer primarily reliable news and stories, against 80.3% who see most stories as unreliable.

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