How do college students conceptualize the ever-changing online information landscape and navigate volatile and popular platforms?
Project Indformation Literacy (PIL) conducted 16 focus groups with 103 undergraduates and interviewed 37 faculty members to collect qualitative data from eight US colleges and universities from across the country. Findings suggest that a majority of students know that popular websites, such as Google, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, use algorithms to collect massive amounts of their personal data, but still find sites too useful to abandon. Many are indignant about websites that mine their clicks to sell them products, but resigned to the powers of an unregulated media environment. Some students, however, used practical strategies to protect their privacy and “confuse algorithms,” learned more often from peers than in classes.
If you want to know more about this, you can find the complete report here.