More adults in Ireland are consuming news through online publications. At the same time here has been a surge in fake news being circulated online since the start of the pandemic.

More than two-thirds of Irish people have noticed an increase in fake news being circulated online since the start of the pandemic.

More adults in Ireland (56pc) are consuming increased levels of online news since the Covid-19 outbreak began, with most baby boomers (67pc) getting more of their news from online publications.

“Usually, it’s the younger generations driving the move to digital, so it is interesting that the baby boomer generation has seen the biggest rise in online news consumption”

At the same time 67pc of people in Ireland have noticed an increase in fake news being circulated online since the start of the pandemic.

It comes amidst a sharp rise in online activity globally, with broadband player Pure Telecom reporting a 30pc increase in internet traffic since mid-March when the first wave of restrictions was announced in Ireland.

The survey, carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom, found that 56pc of adults in Ireland are now consuming more online news since the outbreak of Covid-19. That percentage is significantly higher for baby boomers, with 67pc saying they are now getting more of their news from online publications.

Podcasts and social media on the rise

Man standing on stairs.

Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom

Social media use is also up considerably, with 53pc saying they have been using social media platforms more. At 62pc, Gen Y counts for the greatest increase in social media use.

More than a quarter (26pc) of adults in Ireland, meanwhile, have been listening to a greater number of podcasts.

“Our reliance on online services has been heightened since the start of the pandemic,” said Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom. “We all want to get instant updates on the spread and containment of the virus and that has led to a significant increase in online news consumption.

“Usually, it’s the younger generations driving the move to digital, so it is interesting that the baby boomer generation has seen the biggest rise in online news consumption. Given the increased appetite for online news, our research highlights the importance of ensuring that we are all getting our information from reliable, trusted sources.

“The Covid-19 restrictions were – and are continuing to be – hard on us all, so it’s not surprising that more of us have been resorting to social media. It is allowing us to stay connected and maintain some sense of social activity and normality at a time that has been extremely stressful for everyone.

“While we all look forward to attending celebrations and gatherings again, it is clear that the online world is going to play an even greater role in our lives even after Covid-19,” Connell said.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 4 September, 2020

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