Nowadays, people increasingly choose to turn to the Internet and especially to social media for news and other types of content, while often not questioning the trustworthiness of the information. An acute form of this problem is that children and adolescents tend to include the use of new technologies in all the aspects of their daily life, yet most of them are unable to distinguish between fake news and trustful information in an online environment. This study is based on a Dutch empirical study and was conducted in Romania to examine whether schoolchildren and adolescents were able to identify a hoax website as fake, using a self-administrative questionnaire and open group discussions about the given online source. Similar to other studies based on the same research design, this research aims to explore the vulnerability of students to fake news and the way they experience an experimental situation in which they are exposed to online fake information. This exploratory study revealed that both children and adolescents are not preoccupied with the trustworthiness of the information they are exposed to in social media. While only 4 of the 54 students stated that they would not choose to save a fake animal (from a hoax website), all four of them had reasons that proved that they did not perceive the information as being a hoax. Thus, participants proved that they would act upon being exposed to fake information even when they do not trust the source.
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