World Girls' Day survey: Misinformation prevents girls from participating in society

Misinformation prevents girls from getting involved in politics and society. This is the conclusion of a survey conducted by Plan International on the occasion of World Girls' Day. According to the survey, misinformation is a major reason why girls no longer want to share their opinions on social networks. In addition, schools are failing to teach digital media skills.

This year's World Girl Report "Fact or Fake? How girls and young women deal with false information on the Internet" shows that there is a great need to teach children and young people how to deal with news on the Internet. For example, around 70 percent of those surveyed say they have not learned how to identify false information either at school or through their parents. As a result, one in four girls say they are unsure whether to make their own opinions public, and just under one in five say they have stopped engaging with political and current affairs issues because of misinformation.

Around 26,000 girls and young women in 26 countries between the ages of 15 and 24 were surveyed by Plan International for this purpose - around 1,000 of them in Germany. To find out about their issues, girls in Germany rely primarily on friends and peers (53%). In second place they name influencers (46%) and in third place family and relatives (44%). Only 41 percent of respondents use traditional news media to get information online. Facebook is named by 50 percent of respondents in Germany as the social platform on which most fake news is perceived. It is followed by Instagram (34%), TikTok (33%) and Twitter (29%).

The consequences of disinformation on the web are serious: a good one in four girls in Germany say they feel stressed, worried or anxious as a result. One in five has doubts about the Covid 19 vaccination. There is also a noticeable distrust of election results. To counter misinformation and promote education, Plan International has launched a petition based on the report findings that those concerned or interested can sign:

Fact or Fake? - klicksafe informs

In our topic areas Fake News, Disinformation and Opinion, and Conspiracy Theories, you will find suitable information and materials to empower and strengthen children and young people. A selection:

Further information

You can find the entire World Girl Report in English, a German summary and the key findings of the survey for Germany on the Plan International website under the heading "Texts and background".