Ipsos – Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Post-Truth Are Other People’s Problems

Ipsos released a study on September 5th of over 19,000 people across 27 countries.

Washington, DC, September 5, 2018 — A new Ipsos study of over 19,000 men and women across 27 countries , part of our long-running series on misperceptions of key social realities – The Perils of Perception – highlights how people think fake news, filter bubbles, and post – truth are things that affect other people more than it affects them personally.

Three out five adults (both globally and in the U.S.) say they regularly see fake news, and nearly half say they’ve believed a fake story before finding out it’s fake. Unsurprisingly, people also think trust in politicians and the media has declined and that lying in the media is increasing. On a more positive note, there i s no sign of a wholesale decline in knowledge of political and social issues among people: global citizens are split on whether their understanding of realities is increasing or not.

Other people live in a filter bubble…
The United States has the highest level of agreement (77%) that the average person i n the country lives in a bubble on the internet, only connecting with people like themselves and looking for opinions they already agree with. Next are India (74%), Malaysia (72%) and Sweden (71%).  At other end of s cal e, only 44% agree in Japan. The global average is 65%.  However, people tend to think of themselves as much more open – minded : Globally, only 34% think they only connect to people like themselves or look for opinions they already hold ; 32% of Americans do. At the low end of the spectrum, only 22% in Germany agree with this about themselves , as do 23% in Sweden and Argentina.

Other people struggle to identify fake news
Nearly two thirds of people surveyed i n the U.S. (65%) and across the world  (63%) are confident they can identify ‘fake news’ (which was defined as entirely made up stories or facts) from real news. People from Turkey, Chile, and Peru are those most confident i n their own abilities, while people from Japan (30%) and Spain (39%) are those least sure of it.

Again, people have much less faith i n the average person i n their country: only 41% globally think their average fellow country person can distinguish between real and fake news. People in Sweden (26%), Japan (26%), Italy (27%), Great Britain (28%) , and the U.S. (29%) have the least faith in their fellow citizens’ ability to do so.