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In the digital age, we rely heavily on technology and the Internet, making traditional printed newspapers slowly being forgotten. Most people get their news updates from online news sources.
This transition to online news perpetuated the rise of fake news. This leads to 64% of Americans being confused about basic facts.
Confusion is one of the many negative impacts of fake news. Some people also report reducing their news consumption. Others avoid news altogether due to the difficulty of identifying which is factual or not.
More statistics and facts about fake news lie below, showing how prevalent this modern issue is today.
2021 statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 62% of Internet users saw untrue or doubtful content online. These people report seeing unfactual videos and images across news sites and social media platforms.
Based on that statistic, some people are unsure whether the news they have seen is fake. That brings about other terms associated with fake news:
Fake news is an insidious issue that initially affected the news industry and soon became a worldwide problem. 44% of American news consumers are strongly concerned about fake news.
The data below will show how prevalent fake news is in 2023:
Fake news stats show that 80% of US adults have digested information about COVID-19 that’s been fabricated.
💡 What You Should Know
According to a study, disinformation inherently affects people. Even a mere 5-minute exposure to fake news can significantly modify a person’s unconscious behaviors.
For instance, fake news is perceived to have affected election outcomes in various countries. Some people alter their political bias based on misinformation they see online.
For instance, a fake claim about COVID-19 says it was from 5G technology. However, 5G is a global wireless standard that enables faster mobile telecommunication. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is a virus consisting of genetic materials made of protein.
Traditional news outlets are struggling with consumer trust these days. There are many reasons for this problem, and fake news plays a major role.
Individuals are beginning to doubt the truthfulness of news sources after falling for fake news. Meanwhile, other consumers take extra steps to review and verify the information’s accuracy before believing it.
People worldwide want fake news curbed and removed. Experts see education as one of the things that can help stop the spread of fake news. That’s why 87% of people worldwide support better education regarding Internet use.
Fake news isn’t the only danger on the Internet. Among many others, cyberbullying is another prevalent issue online, affecting 41% of US adults and 46% of teens.
There are also concerns about online privacy due to the widespread presence of hackers, phishing attackers, malware, and more.
With better education regarding the Internet, the prevalence of people falling victim to these dangers will likely decrease.
A primary concern about fake news is that much political information is fabricated. If someone cannot spot manufactured reports, they might ignorantly share and spread this disinformation. Ultimately, fake news can manipulate democratic decision-making.
Fake news is almost everywhere. No wonder it’s inescapable. That leads to 16% of US adults sharing false information, only to realize later that it was fake.
Concerningly, 14% of adults in the US readily shared a story they knew was false.
Regardless if the person knows beforehand that the story they’re sharing is fake, sharing fake news will only sustain the spread of false information. This act poses a real threat to factual information.
Not only is fake news distributed and shared, but most US adults believe these stories create more online confusion among the population.
As fake news spreads, the line between factual and false becomes distorted. When that happens, people find it hard to determine which is true.
That said, before fake news creates a division among people’s opinions and beliefs, it causes extreme confusion. This happened to 64% of US adults, who were confused about basic facts regarding relevant issues.
A sponsored article is a type of promotional media. Advertisers pay a publisher to produce marketing content on its website.
According to statistics, 80% of middle school students can’t tell native (paid) ads from actual news articles. Let’s explain why this data is concerning:
The thing about sponsored content articles is they are biased. Such content aims to persuade consumers to avail of a service, buy a product, or trust a person. That’s why, naturally, the content will work on showcasing the positive attributes of the person or company.
Although sponsored content articles try to sound neutral, their aim is still to promote. In the end, sponsored content articles are not considered actual news stories. Moreover, they are seldom factual.
Many using the Internet acknowledge that they’ve been confused and deceived into believing news that wasn’t true. According to the same 2019 survey, most Internet users saw believable fake news on Facebook.
Recognizing this is a problem, respondents want social media companies and the government to take action.
Some people only know about the political implications of fake news. However, false information can also deeply affect the healthcare industry.
According to Austin Community College (ACC):
There are many fake and misleading news stories related to medical treatments and major diseases like cancer or diabetes. Trusting these false stories could lead you to make decisions that may harm your health.
Many use social media platforms to receive news. Many news outlets have created social media accounts to help spread their reach. However, these credible news sources compete with those who produce fake news and share it on social media.
The following false information on social media statistics shows the impact of fake news on these platforms.
Many US adults have stated that they’ve read fake news articles on social media. Now, this statistic only contains those who recognized the information as false. Others might’ve read fake news but couldn’t identify it as misleading.
According to surveyed Americans, most news—61%—they see on social media is false. That figure shows a small decrease from 2018’s 65%.
These people are unsure whether the news they have seen is factual. Concerningly, the majority of fake news on social media is presented as if they are credible.
People spend an average of 2 hours and 31 minutes on social media platforms daily. Facebook is one of the most popular platforms, seeing users spend 33 minutes of their day on the app.
Facebook remains the leading social media network for news consumption among US consumers.
Most Facebook users (78%) don’t intentionally go to the platform to see some news. Instead, coming across news and facts are only byproducts of other activities on the platform.
According to Pew Research, this is what people call “drive-by-news.”
Fake news on social media is prevalent, especially on Facebook. Many who mindlessly scroll on social media platforms will likely be preoccupied, unwittingly sharing false information without thinking twice.
To combat these instances, Facebook has applied a notice on news that appears to be false:
Other social media platforms have followed suit:
However, some social media users are not impressed by this action. They see it as a band-aid solution. An ideal solution for them would be to delete false information from the platform.
Unfortunately, some news networks are perceived as the culprits for spreading fake news. Nowadays, consumers have trust issues when it comes to news networks.
Based on Pew Research’s survey, people from different generations show equal trust and distrust in various news sources.
The stats below will show you more about the recent landscape on trust in media:
Some US adults have stated that they regularly see fake news on specific news networks. More alarmingly, some of these outlets are part of mainstream media.
No matter their proven credibility, confusion leads to distrust toward news networks. People don’t know what to believe, and some choose not to follow any more news stories altogether.
People have mixed reasons for doubting mainstream media. One perspective is that news networks will always be companies in it for the money. That affiliation with profits propels their
Some still trust a few mainstream news outlets but doubt others:
Based on the Statista survey, China shows the most trust in media regarding news and facts. In the UK, France, Colombia, and Japan, 40% of news consumers have confidence in media outlets.
On the other hand, South Koreans doubt the most in media sources, with only 27% of respondents trusting news from those sources. Trust in media has been decreasing in this country, along with Australia, Argentina, Ireland, and Malaysia.
Based on the Korean Economic Institute (KEI), here’s an analysis of why South Korean media has taken a toll:
Several major scandals in the last few years have dealt major blows to Korean trust in the news media. Former President Park Geun Hye was accused of using South Korea’s strict defamation laws to silence critics in the media, causing many moderate to left-leaning publications to self-censor out of fear of prosecution.
This data set shows that most US news consumers recognize major news sources as credible. NBC follows ABC and CBS closely, with a credibility rate of 60% among the survey respondents.
Discovering these statistics about fake news is necessary. They show how prevalent false information is, especially on the Internet, which sees 5.6 billion daily users. That’s how false information quickly spreads nowadays.
The pervasiveness of fake news is dangerous. Misinformation has political and health implications for the people it deceives. It’s also a threat to major and credible news sources.
However, the future of fake news is uncertain. Educating Internet users and news consumers will help bat it down. Moreover, articles like this shed more light on the issue and get it under control.
News media outlets have widened their reach thanks to the Internet. It enables news sources to provide updates 24/7 to anyone with an Internet connection worldwide.
The Internet has made it easier for mainstream media to expand its accessibility and user base. At the same time, it became a harbor for fake news and misinformation, reducing consumer trust in mainstream media.
Fake news damages the trust between people and the media. This fabricated news distorts the perception of the public, leading to misinformation.
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