Can Teens Spot Fake News? After School Asks Teens About Fake News

First published on the After School Blog

Fake news is a hot topic that has changed the way we view news. Media outlets have created new standards, Facebook and Google have updated their policies, and elected officials are using it to their advantage.

But where do teens stand on fake news?

We asked more than 39,000 teens about it. The majority were familiar with the concept of fake news (83% have heard of it), but they aren’t so sure they can tell if an article is real or fake. The questions asked were:

The questions asked were:

  • Have you heard of “fake news stories”?
  • Are you good at spotting fake news stories?
  • If you see someone sharing fake news stories, what do you do?
  • Do you believe most news articles are true?
  • If a news article wasn’t telling the truth, do you think you could tell?

BuzzFeed: Here’s What 39,000 Teens Think About Fake News

The results:

  • 83% of teens have heard of fake news stories.
  • Most teens who have heard of fake news think they know it when they see it. 64% said they are good at spotting fake new stories. 36% of them admitted that they are not.
  • Teens who have heard of fake news do the following when they see someone they know sharing a fake news story:
  • 61% Ignore it
  • 7% Share it
  • 31% Call them out
  • Teens not familiar with the phrase “fake news” are still skeptical of the legitimacy of news.
  • 66% believe that most news articles are not true.
  • 46% do not think they could discern whether a news article is telling the truth.

After School uses in-app polls to inform teen users on important subjects, give their voice a platform, and to share the opinions of teens with the world. The poll was done in partnership with Data.World and Buzzfeed. View the full dataset here on Data.World. To contact After School about this campaign or others, please email