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So called ‘Digital natives’ are becoming more trusting of what they see online, but often lack the understanding to recognise whether information is impartial, according to a report.

According to research by Ofcom, 19 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 believe that all information returned by search engines like Google and Bing must be true.

Meanwhile, only 31 per cent were able to identify paid-for adverts in these results and eight per cent of eight to 15 year-olds believe information from social media sites and apps is “all true”.

This figure has doubled from four per cent since 2014, Ofcom said.

YouTube is becoming increasingly popular among young people, but only half of 12 to 15 year-olds who use the site are aware that advertising is its main source of funding.

Fewer than half knew that vloggers can be paid to endorse goods or services.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of research, said: “The internet allows children to learn, discover different points of view and stay connected with friends and family.

“But these digital natives still need help to develop the know-how they need to navigate the online world.”

The report also found that children aged between eight and 15 are spending more than 15 hours a week online – twice as much as they did a decade ago.

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