According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, most Americans suspect that made-up news is having an impact. About two-in-three U.S. adults (64%) say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events. This sense is shared widely across incomes, education levels, partisan affiliations and most other demographic characteristics. These results come from a survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted from Dec. 1 to 4, 2016.
Some Americans say they have contributed directly to the distribution of fake news by sharing it themselves. About a quarter (23%) say they have ever shared such stories, while roughly equal portions say they have shared made-up news knowingly and unknowingly.
Fully 16% of U.S. adults say they have shared fake political news inadvertently, only discovering later that it was entirely made up. This is more prevalent among those who say they often see such fake political news stories (22%) than among those who say they see fake news less often (13%), though no consistent demographic differences emerge.
A similar percentage, 14%, say they have shared fake news they knew was made-up – whether because they want to spread misinformation, to “call out” the stories as fake, for the amusement value, or for some other reason.
Taking these two questions together, about a quarter (23%) of U.S. adults say they have ever shared a fake political news story online, whether knowingly or unknowingly, with 7% sharing both when they did and did not know a story was made-up, 9% sharing only when they did not know, and 7% sharing only when they did know. Read the rest at PewResearch.