The regulator said the reason was because social media, often accessed on smartphones, ‘blurs the boundaries’.
This has a ‘detrimental’ impact on how users question the world around them and ‘important implications for our democracy’.
Google and Facebook are ‘blurring’ the boundaries between news and other content,
Ofcom tracked 22 people for a week to interpret how they read the news and the impact this had on their lives. For their wider research, 118 people were surveyed.
It found three-quarters read news on their phone and had heard of fake news, but many did not know what the term meant.
Ofcom said smartphones turn users into ‘passive’ consumers who do not know the source of news on social media.
They also assume friends’ posts are reliable and a story is important if it has lots of likes or shares.