The study was conducted by the Pew Research Center, which published its findings on June 5. As well as listing key issues of concern, the 7-in-10 adults said fake news “greatly impacts” the trust people have in the government.
Just Out: More Americans say MADE-UP NEWS is a very big problem for the country than say that of terrorism, illegal immigration, racism or sexism – & 68% say it has a big impact on confidence in our gov’t system https://t.co/N7ilWlPZoN pic.twitter.com/OAYC9HZzMp
— Amy Mitchell (@asmitch) June 5, 2019
“U.S. adults blame political leaders and activists far more than journalists for the creation of made-up news,” reads the study.
While regular adults primarily blame politicians, politicians themselves were surveyed and also had similar opinions.
Fake News in Politics
A little over half of Democrats said political leaders were to blame for producing fake news. And Republicans: 10 percent more.
However, over half of Republicans said that journalists, activists groups, and politicians were to blame—with activists groups (73 percent) at the summit. This is a stark difference from Democrats, who only surpassed 50 percent on one category out of five: politicians.
President Donald Trump has made a point during his presidency to call out the media, which he believes produces fake news. Recently, he was asked about a protest against his visit to London, which he said was exaggerated in the media.
“I heard that there were protests, I said, ‘Where are the protests? I don’t see any protests,'” said Trump, next to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May. “I did see a small protest when I came—very small. So a lot of it is fake news, I hate to say it.”
Trump added that he also saw people waving the American flag and the United Kingdom flag, calling it “tremendous spirit and love.”
What Can Be Done?
As for a solution, over half of the study participants believe that journalists have “the most responsibility in reducing” the amount of fake news.
% of U.S. adults who say each create ???? ???????????? of made-up news & info:
Political leaders/staff – 57%
Activist groups – 53%
Journalists – 36%
Foreign actors – 35%
The public – 26%https://t.co/clTW6JxbVO pic.twitter.com/9ofxdmtb46
— Pew Research Journalism (@pewjournalism) June 5, 2019
In the meantime, Americans are taking their own steps in defending against fake news.
Almost 8-in-10 American reported fact-checking what they read. Over half stopped watching whichever media produced fake news.