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New Study: Americans Don’t Know How To Google Search Properly

New Study: Americans Don’t Know How To Google Search Properly October 5, 2021


A new study from MIT reveals Americans do not know how to perform a Google search properly. The findings shed light on the explosion of conspiracy theories such as ivermectin being useful against COVID-19, Donald Trump winning the 2020 election, and that hot dogs are tacos.

I’ve Done My Own Research

In an age where public education fails its students, more and more citizens in the US feel like they have the tools to analyze complex sets of data and disregard scholarly consensus.

“Most Americans can’t give a definition of what scholarly consensus is,” said Professor Andrew Canard lead author of Americans Can’t Do A Simple Google Search And That Means We’re All Going To Hell In A Hand Bucket. “Not only that, most users don’t know the difference between an ad on Google and a search result.”

The paper also notes Americans can’t identify what a good source of information is. When 13,232 Americans were asked to rank good sources of information on Facebook, 132% of them placed Russian troll pages as “super reliable” and 198% of respondents had a slim grasp of math and percentages.

To make matters worse, the social media platforms that are picture or video based, like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok have a culture where users are actually hostile to the citation of sources. One prominent YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of followers quipped, “My first grader knows how to cite sources. People know how to Google.”

“Americans don’t even know extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” Professor Canard said. “And that’s why flat earth channels on YouTube are popular.”

There Is Hope

There are some exceptions, however. The hit show Adam Ruins Everything religiously places citations from high-quality sources in its episodes. The YouTube channel TIK also places links to sources in its videos as well as in the description.

Until that sort of behavior becomes the norm Professor Canard believes Americans suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect will continue to Dunning-Kruger effect themselves. “The incompetent don’t know they’re incompetent because they’re incompetent,” he said. “We can change that. We can change that with a variety of methods including, but not limited to, ill penned satire.”

In related news, Iceland teaches religion and science are incompatible.

 


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