The issue with fake news has never become more evident after the 2016 US Presidential Election. Almost a month since Donald Trump was elected as the next US President, Pew Research Center conducted a survey among Americans regarding fake news. Apparently, many of them said that fabricated news stories have caused them confusion over facts.
The Pew Research Center surveyed 1,002 US adults from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4. The data shows that 64 percent of them said that fake news has caused “a great deal of confusion” about the basic facts of current issues and events. Only 11 percent said that there was not much or no confusion at all. This is the same sentiment across gender, age, educational attainment, income, race and political affiliation.
In the political spectrum, 57 percent of Republicans said there is a great deal of confusion. That is equivalent to 64 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Independents. On the other hand, 73 percent of those who make $75,000 a year were extremely confused more than those who have less than $30,000 yearly income. 67 percent of those ages 18-29 admitted that the fake news cause a great deal confusion compared to 58 percent of those ages 65 and older.
The confusion is reflected by the fact that 16 percent shared a news that they did not know was fake. 14 percent shared it even though they were aware that it was actually made up. Out of those that were surveyed, 23 percent said that they shared the fabricated news. There was also 32 percent of Americans who said that they often see made up political news stories online.
Though this is the case, most Americans are confident of their ability to recognize fake news. In fact, 39 percent said that they are very confident and 45 percent are somewhat confident. Only 15 percent said that they are not very or not at all confident.
Many of those who were surveyed said that the public, government, politicians, elected officials, social networking sites and search engines all have to share a great deal of responsibility. Those involved in governance received 45 percent compared to 42 percent for the online social platforms and 43 percent of the general public users.
Facebook particularly received criticisms for not doing enough to address this issue. Some even claimed that their lack of action somewhat influenced the result of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Though this was denied by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He insisted that 99 percent of the news in Facebook are authentic and only a small percentage are the fake news and hoaxes. This does not stop Facebook to try to reduce the spread of fabricated stories. The plans it laid out back in November is already taking shape based on Facebook’s recent announcement.