In a world full of problems, more Americans believe that made-up news is a bigger problem than terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, surveyed 6,127 U.S. adults between Feb 19 and March 4 of 2019.
Almost seven-in-ten U.S. adults say fake news greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions, and around half say it has a huge impact on our confidence in each other, according to the study.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans believe that steps should be taken to restrict fake news, as opposed to the 20% who believe it is protected communication.
Most Americans also believe that the problem will get worse over the next five years.
“Americans do not blame journalists the most for creating made-up news and information, but put most responsibility on them to fix it,” according to Pew Research.
Americans have also recently shown to have changed their news habits. Fact checking is now common when coming across a new news article.
“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,” according to Pew Research.
There are also a few political leanings that affect how Americans view made-up news.
Republicans express greater skepticism than Democrats about news coverage, and they register greater exposure to it.
Highly politically aware Americans say they see more made-up news than those who are less politically aware and have expressed that it has a negative impact on the democratic system.
Americans ages 18 to 29 tended to be less concerned about the impact of made-up news than those in the older age categories.
Most Americans are also more likely to perceive satire less negatively than fake news.
To learn more about the study, visit Pew Research.