Most Americans agree that “fake news” is a problem that negatively impacts their opinions of social media networks, but few are willing to change their social media habits in light of the phenomenon, according to a recent survey released by business news site The Manifest.
The survey, which sought to gauge social media users’ ability to identify fake news as well as how the fake news phenomenon influences their social media habits, found that virtually all respondents agree that fake news is a problem, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum: 94 percent of conservatives, 94 percent of moderates and 92 percent of liberals think fake news on social media is an issue, according to the survey.
|Liberals, conservatives and moderates all believe fake news on social media is a problem.|
Amazingly, almost all respondents (97 percent) expressed confidence in their ability to spot fake news, and most reported regularly encountering news on social media platforms they thought was fake: More than half said they’ve seen fake news on Facebook (70 percent) and Twitter (54 percent) in the past month, while others reported encountering fake news on YouTube (47 percent), Reddit (43 percent) and Instagram (40 percent).
Altogether, more than half (53 percent) of respondents said fake news negatively impacts their opinions of social media.
Puzzlingly, however—and perhaps due to their presumptions that they can spot fake news so easily—the survey discovered fake news doesn’t appear to deter most Americans from using social networks, no matter how regularly they encounter it. More than half of Facebook users (53 percent) said fake news doesn’t impact their use of the platform, and a similar percentage said their use of YouTube (50 percent), Twitter and Pinterest (both 49 percent), Instagram (46 percent), Snapchat and Reddit (both 45 percent) and LinkedIn (37 percent) would not change in light of it.
Only one percent of people said that fake news was cause enough for them to cancel their Facebook accounts.
The Manifest surveyed polled 537 U.S. adult social media users in late 2018 as part of a seven-part survey. Research was conducted using brand intelligence research company Survata
The Manifest is the sister site of D.C.-based research and consulting firm Clutch.