How fake news affects Canadian media trust

A new study from Ipsos declares fake news a 'global epidemic' as Canadians fix blame on Americans.

Fake news has contributed to nearly half of Canadians losing trust in the media, according to a new report from Ipsos, which declares the phenomenon a “global epidemic” with widespread impact on media.

Facebook, the worst offender of fake news circulation according to 67% of the 25,000 people surveyed globally, is where two in three Canadians say they have been exposed to fake news. On the whole, 53% of Canadians think social media has impacted their access to information. Roughly 7% of Canadians have closed down their social media accounts as a direct result of fake news.

Ipsos conducted the survey on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, interviewing people in 25 countries.

The survey found sources identified as “mainstream” media has also contributed to fake news, according to 43% of Canadians who report seeing it on TV (45%), in print (35%) or online (62%). To that end, 11% reported having unsubscribed from mainstream media outlets, while 23% of Canadians reported finding fake news in other “non-traditional information sources.”

More than one-third of Canadians surveyed said they have fallen for fake news. Canadians are most likely to hold the U.S. responsible, as 59% view Americans as large contributors to the fake news cycle. Globally, 35% of people think the U.S. leads when it comes to sources of fake news, trailed by 12% who said Russia and 9% who pointed to China.

Canadians have also made the connection between fake news and personal privacy when it comes to social media. As a result, 50% said they support better education for identifying fake news. As for who is responsible, 10% believe the government should step in, while 12% think social media companies themselves should take on the role.