‘A royal mess’: Behind Gen Z’s fight with (mis)information overload

‘A royal mess’: Behind Gen Z’s fight with (mis)information overload

The Post has an exciting visual power due to its homemade quality, youthfulness and the real outrage behind its complaint. All are signs of authenticity and credibility for Generation Z, the first Americans to grow up in a social media-dominated ecosystem. The rant was quickly viewed more than 2 million times on Twitter and 10,000 times on TikTok. She shared the left meme site, which is not really political, with her more than 80,000 followers, where she received over 800,000 views on Instagram alone.

“That’s about as un-American as it gets. There is no longer any exaggeration. Trump wants to become a dictator, “says the video’s not entirely political headline. “Fair and free elections are out the window.”

That is, if it were true. It is not. Your ballot was not from the government.

Political parties and campaigns often send out voter registration forms to encourage people to vote. This is a legal practice reported in a handful of southern states. There were no reports of official partisan campaign announcements. The mailer probably arrived by accident, and a formal request with the official Wahlpost logo would have been on the way.

The woman in the video, 22-year-old Kendall Olivia Matthews, a Georgia-based actress, told POLITICO she knew it wasn’t from official election organizers and was trying to stop the spread when she saw people do it that way interpreted. The viral video came from a series of posts in which she set out at length the inconvenience of receiving ballots with campaign material, she said.

The viral video was not deliberately disinformation compiled by a cabal of Russians or other anti-democratic forces. Rather, the video’s journey from a young woman’s complaint to a viral sensation is a symbol of the unprecedented misinformation challenges that Gen Z voters face despite their social media know-how. With a deluge of information, a penchant for image-based platforms that can obscure nuances, and an emotional media landscape full of contradicting and dubious reports, Gen Zers can and can get caught up in pitfalls that can seriously affect their political views.

“Trust in institutions is consistently lower, but teens experience even more cynicism towards institutions based only on their lifetime,” said Peter Adams, senior vice president of education for the News Literacy Project, a group that teaches young people media literacy.

“That can easily lead to conspiratorial thought traps,” he added.

a new media landscape

Gen Z’s social media habits often lean towards Instagram and TikTok, photo and video platforms where the origin of information can be easily obscured. According to a poll by POLITICO / Morning Consult, YouTube and Instagram were ranked as the daily new source of choice among a multitude of Gen Zers compared to text-based media like Reddit or newspapers.

Add to this the emotional atmosphere surrounding these presidential elections, an incumbent broken up to the truth, a national race reckoning, and the global pandemic of a poorly understood disease, and fact-checking instincts often fall by the wayside.


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