56% respondents believe the problem will only get worse.
Fake news has made it hard to trust the news. Who do we believe? What do we believe? If we do not have faith in the press to tell us the truth, where will we go?
It has become an actual problem. The Pew Research Center discovered that Americans believe fake news is more of a problem than terrorism, climate change, and illegal immigration.
The Pew Research Center wrote:
Indeed, more Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way. Additionally, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say made-up news and information greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions, and roughly half (54%) say it is having a major impact on our confidence in each other.
U.S. adults blame political leaders and activists far more than journalists for the creation of made-up news intended to mislead the public. But they believe it is primarily the responsibility of journalists to fix the problem. And they think the issue will get worse in the foreseeable future.
The vast majority of Americans say they sometimes or often encounter made-up news. In response, many have altered their news consumption habits, including by fact-checking the news they get and changing the sources they turn to for news.
Pew found that “Republicans, the highly politically aware and older Americans” view fake news as a problem more than any other group, which I find odd because those are the people I see sharing unreliable “news” on Facebook. I will not name names!
Most of these people do not think the fake news issue will get better anytime soon. 56% of the respondents believe fake news will get worse in the next five years.
I found it odd that the majority of respondents placed the fake news blame on political leaders (57%) and political activists (53%). Journalists came in third at 36%. I have documented the many times I found fake news within the media. Professor Jacobson allows me to go ginger on them.
Despite that, 53% of Americans believe that journalists “have the greatest responsibility to reduce it.”
Duh. That is the primary job of the free press. We rely on journalists to provide us the truth, ask questions about any corruption, and demand details.
If the press will not do it, then who will? We saw an explosion of online blogs and media outlets during President Barack Obama’s administration due to a loss of trust in the press. Professor Jacobson stresses accuracy in our blogs, but unfortunately, that is not the norm everywhere. Americans admitted to Pew they shared fake news but did not know it was fake when it happened:
A somewhat larger percentage of those surveyed (20%) say the public itself bears the most responsibility to reduce it. But another finding suggests the challenges inherent in that effort. Of the 52% of Americans who say they have shared made-up news themselves, a vast majority of them said they didn’t know it was made up when they did so.
Almost four-in-ten Americans (38%) say they often come across made-up news and information, and another 51% say they sometimes do. Given their concerns about made-up news, Americans have also changed their news and technology habits. Almost eight-in-ten (78%) say they have checked the facts in news stories themselves. Roughly six-in-ten (63%) have stopped getting news from a particular outlet, about half (52%) have changed the way they use social media and roughly four-in-ten (43%) have lessened their overall news intake.
Fake news has changed interaction among adults:
Half say they have avoided talking with someone because they thought that person would bring made-up news into the conversation.
In the digital environment, half of social media news consumers have stopped following someone they know because they thought the person was posting made-up news and information, and the same percentage have stopped following a news organization for this reason.
I have seen people get on President Donald Trump for using the term “fake news,” but in all honesty, if the outlets and people did not push fake news, then he would not say it all the time.
I encourage people to watch all of Trump’s speeches in full so they do not encounter any doctored videos from any outlet or person. Also, remember that every outlet has great reporters. Do not allow the rotten apples to affect your view of the entire outlet.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.