Understanding people's online habits, behaviour and attitudes

Cyhoeddwyd: 9 Mehefin 2021
Diweddarwyd diwethaf: 16 Mawrth 2023

Making Sense of Media is Ofcom’s programme of work to help improve the online media literacy of UK adults and children.

Ofcom has a statutory duty to promote media literacy, and the Government intends to further strengthen our role in this area through the Online Safety Bill.

Understanding people’s online habits, behaviours and attitudes is a vital part of these statutory duties. This evidence helps us – and others – identify trends and spot emerging issues.

There are many ways to understand and measure online behaviour, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

We have commissioned three reports which collectively address these issues and provide new insights into online behaviour. They offer a contribution to debates around how to collect and synthesise data; how to understand habits and perceptions about misinformation; and what might be most effective in countering misinformation.

The three reports are:

Automated approaches to measuring online experiences (PDF, 4.1 MB)
This summary report from Faculty provides an assessment of the existing range of online automated tools, within a framework for measuring online experiences. It outlines current providers and the legal, ethical and other considerations to be addressed when using such tools.

Misinformation: A qualitative exploration (PDF, 954.1 KB)
This qualitative research from Yonder provides an in-depth understanding of people who self-identified as either ‘questioning’ or ‘rejecting’ the mainstream media. Our goal was to develop a richer understanding of how such people interact with news and information online, and their opinions and categorisation of various types of misinformation.

Rapid Evidence Assessment on Online Misinformation and Media Literacy (PDF, 1.3 MB)
This review by LSE Consulting (led by Professor Lee Edwards) summarises recent evidence, largely from academic research literature, on work being done in the field of media literacy to address misinformation. It analyses 201 papers following an initial sift of thousands.

We welcome comments and feedback on these reports. If you would like to get in touch, please email makingsenseofmedia@ofcom.org.uk.

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