Why it matters: Today’s hyper-connected landscape and modern amenities have made it easier to share information than any other time in history yet as more and more people are coming to realize, not everything should be taken as gospel.
According to a recent Gallup / Knight Foundation survey of 1,440 Gallup Panel members, Americans believe that 39 percent of the news they read in newspapers, see on television and hear on the radio is misinformation – stories that are made up or cannot be verified as accurate despite being presented as fact. Furthermore, they feel that 65 percent of news shared on social media is misinformation.
The survey, conducted between February 5 and March 11, 2018, also found that 76 percent of US adults believe major Internet companies have an obligation to identify fake news that appears on their platforms with a slim majority feeling the identification of misinformation is one of their most important responsibilities.
The survey also highlights a correlation between education levels and the perception that news is fake. In short, those with less education are more skeptical of what they read in newspapers, see on TV and hear on the radio. Similar trends were also observed as it relates to political party affiliation.
Survey data / charts courtesy Gallup / Knight Foundation