72% Of Americans Struggle To Identify Trustworthy Media Content


As generative AI rapidly and drastically reshapes the media landscape, its impact on content creation and dissemination, particularly when it comes to news, has become an area of extreme concern in the United States as the 2024 elections approach.

According to a larger Reuters Institute study about digital media as a whole, these concerns are intensifying, with 72% of Americans worried about distinguishing real from fake content where they receive their news – a sentiment that has grown by 3 percentage points from the previous year.

This news comes after a separate study found that AM/FM radio has emerged as the most trusted news source in the US, with its credibility increasing from 60% to 63% over the past four years.

The growing use of AI in news production introduces both opportunities and challenges. AI technologies, like generative AI, are being increasingly employed to produce content that ranges from written articles to synthetic audio and video. This AI-generated content, while innovative, has a much higher risk of spreading misinformation, especially when it comes to politically sensitive topics.

For instance, AI-generated audio clips mimicking public figures could spread false information quickly, influencing voter perceptions without their knowledge of the content’s artificial origin. Disclosure of AI use in political ads is a point of interest currently being debated by the FCC and the FEC when it comes to radio and TV.

The stress of deception and misinformation is even more pronounced on social media. Reuters found more than a quarter of TikTok users in the US admitted difficulty in discerning trustworthy news on the platform. Users across other major platforms like X/Twitter and YouTube also face challenges in identifying credible content amidst the flood of information available online.

Experts argue that building and maintaining public trust in this new digital age will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders involved – regulators, platforms, and news creators. Human moderators and fact-checkers remain crucial in verifying content accuracy.


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