A new Pew Research Center survey out Wednesday says 50% of Americans think made-up news is a very big problem today. That's more than the 46% who said the same about climate change.
The survey, which you can read in full here, also found that 68% of Americans say made-up news affects confidence in government institutions.
"Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to identify made-up news as a 'very big problem.' They are also more likely to say that they see it 'often,' and they are three times as likely as Democrats to blame journalists for creating it."
Fifty percent of those surveyed said made-up news (the artist formerly known as "fake news") is a "very big problem" in the United States. By comparison, 46 percent called climate change a "very big problem"; 40 percent said the same about racism; 34 percent said the same about terrorism.
"Made-up news/info" can't touch some other issues, though — like drug addiction and affordable health care. It ranks only a hair behind income inequality.
The report is the bleakest I've seen when it comes to the partisan divide in the United States around fake news. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to identify made-up news as a "very big problem." (They are, after all, told it's a huge problem repeatedly by the president.) They are also more likely to say that they see it "often," and they are three times as likely as Democrats to blame journalists for creating it. Republicans are also more likely to say that they have "reduced the amount of news they get overall" out of their concerns over fake news.
READ THE FULL REPORT.
Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs To Be Fixed [journalism.org, AMY MITCHELL, JEFFREY GOTTFRIED, SOPHIA FEDELI, GALEN STOCKING AND MASON WALKER for Pew Research Center Journalism & Media]
Observations from Twitter below.
Unwelcome hypothesis. Americans who identify as Republican just want to sock it to "The Media" (a hate object) any way they can. When asked about it in polls, they just check the most extreme box available without thinking about it very much. https://t.co/mVLzJTejng
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) June 5, 2019
Share of Americans who say each have the most responsibility in fixing the problem of made-up news:
The news media: 53%
The public: 20%
The government: 12%
Tech companies: 9%https://t.co/rpmiXeikaL
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) June 5, 2019
Pew finds that Americans think fake news is a huge problem. But note the gap in how many respondents think Big Tech is responsible for fixing it vs. what you see in media coverage/commentary https://t.co/dJ9wlWcEwv pic.twitter.com/U7cCjqiXgU
— David Uberti (@DavidUberti) June 5, 2019
Americans think "made-up news" is a bigger problem than climate change
(Americans are not correct about this!) https://t.co/td2GTkjkcO
— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) June 5, 2019