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Let’s start by reviewing some of the key statistics on fake news.

Key Fake News Statistics

  • 80% of US adults reported seen ‘fake news’ stories on the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]
  • Only 26% of Americans are very confident in their ability to recognize fake news.[2]
  • 67% American who believe the news causes a great deal of confusion.[9]
  • 10% American who knowling share fake news.[1]
  • 67% of Americans have come across fake news on social media.[8]
  • In Q3 of 2020, there were 1.8 billion fake news engagements on Facebook.[7]
  • 52% of Americans felt that online news websites regularly report fake news stories in the United States.[11]
  • ABC is the most trusted source for news  about the government and politics. [2]
  • 60% of people did not trust social media to provide correct information about the outbreak.[3]
  • 71% of Millennials in the United States trusted local TV broadcast news updates on the coronavirus outbreak, whereas just 52 percent trusted cable news channels for this information.[4]
  • Local television news as the most used offline news source in the United States (26%), whereas only 25% goes to Fox news.[5]
  • 56% of Democrats believed that the news about the coronavirus outbreak had been mostly accurate.[6]

According to the online Oxford Dictionary, fake news is “disinformation or intentionally misleading information that is spread, regardless of whether the information is true or not, in the intent of causing public harm.”

Fake news is becoming more and more common. With the rise of social media and fake news out there, it is important to know what the facts are. 

Fake news, like the saying goes, spreads like wildfire. The implications of fake news are far reaching and for this reason, we need to be on our guard and know the facts about how prevalent it is.

These are fake news stats in – and these numbers might surprise you. They might even scare you…

Fake News on Facebook Statistics

  • In Q3 of 2020, there were 1.8 billion fake news engagements on Facebook.[7]
  • 18 million pieces of COVID-19-related misinformation since the start of the pandemic.[10]
  • Publishers of misinformation on Facebook got 6X times more engagement than factual news, a new study says.[12]
  • Facebook Spreads Fake News Faster Than Any Other Social Website. [13]
  • 47% of Facebook users are looking for news on facebook.[14]

There have been a number of fake news stories that have circulated throughout Facebook, and this is clearly demonstrated by the data. 

There has been a tremendous amount of false stories spread socially, and while they may not all be on Facebook, they do share an entire platform—Facebook. This is why we need to work to spread factual information through social media instead of false or misleading sources.

The most popular fake news Facebook posts that were included in the study explain that the Pope had endorsed Trump, Clinton sold weapons to ISIS, Barack Obama was going to cancel the election and install himself as president for life, and that he was going to open Muslim religious schools across the country.

Fake News Statistics on Social Media

  • 60% of people did not trust social media to provide correct information about the outbreak.[3]
  • 70% falsehood information is more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than the truth, and reach their first 1,500 people six times faster.[15]
  • 17% of engagement with the 100 top-performing news sources on social media was dubious in 2020.[16]

When we took a hard look at the Fake News Statistics on Social Media, we were surprised to see how often this kind of content spread across social media. 

Now, even something that is developed with the best of intentions may rapidly spin out of control and become something much more terrible and destructive. 

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be free to say what you want, but there may need to be some “truth in advertising” legislation in the future to prevent users from spreading content they know is fake.

Fake News on Social Media Canada

  • 89% of Canadians have fallen for fake news. [17]
  • 68% of Canadian blame Facebook for source of fake news, whereas only 43% blame on mainstream media and 35% on print media.[17]
  • 89% Canadian distrust social media in 2019 compare to 81% in 2018.[17]

As this case study has hopefully made clear, fake news on social media is a problem that’s more prevalent than most of us think, especially in Canada. The good news is that by becoming aware of it and speaking up about fake news, you can help to combat it. So get involved, have critical thinking conversations with your friends and family, and spread the word that fake news isn’t worth believing.

Fake News Statistics Worldwide

  • Social Media is the least trusted news source worldwide [18]
  • 51% of global news consumers have seen fake news on television. [19]
  • Croatia is a country in which consumers mostly like to avoid fake news.[20]

To summarize, it is undeniable that false news has become a worldwide epidemic. Fake news has infected nearly every country with Internet access, and the problem is only going to become worse before it gets better, according to the World Economic Forum. 

For a variety of reasons, the situation is concerning – not the least of which is the fact that false news has the potential to influence international events, influence voter decisions, and motivate people to take action when they otherwise would not have done so.

What Percentage of Information on The Internet is True

52.8 percent of Internet users think internet information is “reliable and accurate.”[21] We hope that the UCLA survey serves as a wake up call for many users who may be unaware of the quantity of fake news in circulation. However, we should also bear in mind that not all is lost when it comes to the public’s perception of online media.

In reality, many of the UCLA study’s participants were aware of and concerned about fake news. However, more than half of users studied are still vulnerable. We strive to educate a large audience on online media, and we always encourage readers to be cautious of what they read and where they read it.

Statistics of People Who Listen To Fake News Stories

Fifty-two percent of Americans believe online news websites often post fake news articles.[11]A majority of Americans believe that online news reports fake stories, this indicates that the public is incredibly skeptical of everything they read online. 

Nowhere is this more true than in politics; a large majority believe that news sources are biased in their favor. The mentality of “post-truth” is a growing problem that could cause serious issues in the future.

Statistics About How Many People Believe In Fake News

On average, 20% of the people are inclined to believe false news according to a study conducted by MIT. [22]

According to the study conducted by MIT, people tend to believe false news more than the real ones (as much as 20% of the people). This has been a constant issue that is arising very quickly in this current world we live in. 

There are many websites nowadays that are easily spreading false and fake news such as “Freedom Daily” and “USADailyPolitics”. These kinds of sites have become so popular in the past few years because they target political debates and issues.

Statistics Of Fake News Spread During The Election

67%  of people definitely or probably saw fake news online during the election of 2016.[23]

This survey is important as it suggests that many people can’t tell the difference between fake and real news. 

This makes fake news stories even more effective at fooling people. The survey also shows how quickly an image with a made up quote can spread via social media. 

This is especially concerning with the spread of fake news because people often share entire articles even though only a small part of the story may be true .

Statistics Of How Many Kids Believe Fake News

55% of American children aged 10 to 18 believe in fake news.[24 ]It is up to parents and teachers alike to restrict their children from receiving this type of information. Make sure you do not let your children be deceived by ridiculous fake news stories.

Can People Spot Fake News Statistics

Only 26% of Americans are very confident in their ability to recognize fake news.[2] The issue of fake news is becoming a powerful topic of discussion as we are more and more bombarded with articles and headlines coming at us from all parts of the Internet. If 26% of Americans report that they feel confident in their ability to recognize and call out any pieces of fake news.

 Ideally, everyone should be able to identify fake news when they see it—no exceptions. It’s a concern that needs addressing, but it won’t be easy.

Final Thoughts

In the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the presence and spread of fake news. Every day, four out of ten people get their news through social media, with Facebook serving as the most popular source of social news. Half of all Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter users regularly visit Pages to get the latest updates.

The internet is a continually changing environment, and as more and more people become technologically literate every day, more and more people will seek out and consume news online.

This is why it is critical for you to keep up with the latest developments in the way internet information is disseminated. The chances are high that you will be one of the individuals who can have a good impact on how your friends and family members obtain information from their web sources.

Source

1. https://www.journalism.org/2020/03/18/knowledge-and-perception-surrounding-covid-19/

2.https://www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/01/PJ_2020.01.24_Media-Polarization_FINAL.pdf

3.https://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/200342_crosstabs_HOLLYWOOD_Adults_v2_JB-1.pdf

4.https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/millennials-flocking-to-local-tv-news-during-coronavirus

5.https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2021-06/Digital_News_Report_2021_FINAL.pdf

6.https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/ap1p15w9nv/20200311_yahoo_coronavirus_crosstabs.pdf

7.https://www.gmfus.org/blog/2020/10/12/new-study-digital-new-deal-finds-engagement-deceptive-outlets-higher-facebook-today

8.https://news.temple.edu/news/2021-11-09/study-shows-verified-users-are-among-biggest-culprits-when-it-comes-sharing-fake

9.https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2019/06/05/many-americans-say-made-up-news-is-a-critical-problem-that-needs-to-be-fixed/

10.https://transparency.fb.com/data/community-standards-enforcement/

11. https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_us_040218/

12.https://engineering.nyu.edu/news/misinformation-facebook-got-six-times-more-clicks-factual-news-during-2020-election-study-says

13.https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-0833-x

14.https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/20/study-finds-half-of-americans-get-news-on-social-media-but-percentage-has-dropped/

15.https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/study-false-news-spreads-faster-truth

16.https://www.newsguardtech.com/special-report-2020-engagement-analysis/

17.https://www.cigionline.org/cigi-ipsos-global-survey-internet-security-and-trust/

18.https://www.edelman.com/sites/g/files/aatuss191/files/2022-01/2022%20Edelman%20Trust%20Barometer%20FINAL_Jan25.pdf

19.https://www.cigionline.org/sites/default/files/documents/2019%20CIGI-Ipsos%20Global%20Survey%20-%20Part%203%20Social%20Media%2C%20Fake%20News%20%26%20Algorithms.pdf

20.https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2019-06/DNR_2019_FINAL_0.pdf

21.http://ccp.ucla.edu/pages/internet-report.asp

22.https://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/directory/david-g-rand

23.https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/zev5z2887d/econTabReport.pdf

24. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/news-and-americas-kids

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