Four in five Brits don't trust the news they read, study reveals

Only one in five feel confident the news they are reading is real and more than two thirds want social media firms to take more responsibility for tackling fake news, according to a new study.

A small minority (7%) said they felt Facebook and Twitter were doing enough to protect them from fake news designed to manipulate public opinion.

The research, conducted by Populus Data Solutions for media agency the7stars, surveyed 1,000 news-consuming Brits and also revealed that only one in ten trust news shared by friends on social media.


Also see: Facebook, Google and tackling the problem of destructive content


Just over half (53%) of respondents are actively seeking out sources they feel they could trust but, worryingly, more than one in five (22%) are not concerned about fake news. The study also found that 45% of readers feel it is difficult to understand what is fake news and what isn’t.

Generation gap

Differences in age proved to be significant, with more than half (52%) of over-65s saying they found it difficult to tell the difference between real and fake news, compared to just 37% of 25 to 34-year-olds.

Frances Revel, associate director - insight at the7stars, said: "Fake news has been a lead story for a while now and our findings demonstrate that UK consumers are concerned and feel that social media brands must do more to help them navigate the difference between the truth and ‘alternative facts’.

"While some readers are clearly confident about finding reliable news information, others, particularly older readers are less so. The study clearly shows that confidence in real news could be damaged unless action is taken to help consumers."

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