In the latest Pew survey of 6,000 Americans 50% see made-up news as a “very big problem” — on a par with violent crime and income inequality. Sadly 46% don’t realize “climate change” is fake news.
Not surprisingly more Republicans than Democrats worry about fake news. In the “starkest” difference — while many people think the fake news comes from politicans — 60% of Republicans blame the journalists themselves, whereas only 20% of Democrats did.
Pew Research (Google cache link because the proper link wasn’t working).
A solid majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (62%) say made-up news is a very big problem in the country today, compared with fewer than half of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (40%). Republicans also register greater exposure to made-up news. About half of Republicans (49%) say they come across it often, 19 percentage points higher than Democrats (30%).
One of the starkest differences, though, is in assigning blame for creating made-up news and information. Republicans are nearly three times as likely as Democrats to say journalists create a lot of it (58% vs. 20%).
Republicans also place more blame on activist groups, with about three-quarters (73%) saying these groups create a lot, close to twice the rate of Democrats (38%).
News is so fake people are checking the facts themselves and cancelling subscriptions
Fake news means nearly 90% of politically aware people are checking the facts of news stories themselves (compared to 70% of people who are not so into politics). But half of the people who are not interested in politics are just switching off the news. Most people will also stop getting news from a specific outlet. Trust in American media has been falling for years– especially with Republicans.
Here’s a slightly unnerving stat:
In addition, about eight-in-ten U.S. adults (79%) believe steps should be taken to restrict made-up news, as opposed to 20% who see it as protected communication.
The good news is that only 12% think the government should be fixing this. (Phew). A bit more than half of Americans think journalists should.
For the record, the biggest concerns of US citizens were drug addiction (70%) and affordability of Heath Care (67%).