October 9, 2018
Tokyo- Nearly 10 pct of smartphone users in Japan believed online disinformation during major disasters, such as recent powerful earthquakes in western and northern parts of the country, a private-sector survey has revealed.
According to the survey by Internet service provider Biglobe Inc., 9.4 pct of respondents were fooled by tweets and other online information including news while 66.4 pct were not.
Of the respondents who accepted fake information as truth, those in their 20s accounted for 14.5 pct, the largest share. On the other hand, people in their 60s proved to be the least believers, with their share standing at 4.5 pct.
The survey was conducted in August on 1,000 smartphone users aged between 20 and 69.
It also found that 67.3 pct of the overall respondents thought it necessary to identify and crack down on the sources of disinformation while 26.1 pct took it as part of inevitable postdisaster turmoil. Meanwhile, 2.9 pct said it is fun to see people get confused.
"Although a lot of pieces of information that look urgent emerge in the wake of a disaster, we want you to calm down and check their sources," said an official of Biglobe, a unit of KDDI Corp., which operates "au" mobile communications services. Jiji Press
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