Americans are more concerned with 'fake news' than racism or terrorism

Dec 2006
26,692
11,865
New Haven, CT
#1
This is an interesting study and article ... it shows how incredibly out of whack the right wing in our country is. The emphasis is mine.

Americans are more concerned with 'fake news' than racism or terrorism, says new study




Marissa Higgins Sunday June 09, 2019 · 12:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

GettyImages-1150990012.jpg

What’s one of the biggest problems Americans believe we’re facing in today’s age? According to a new survey released from the Pew Research Center, a good fraction of Americans believe fake news is a bigger problem than issues like racism (40%), sexism (26%), and terrorism (34%). And while fake news and media literacy are significant issues, these findings are fascinating and complex, in a way that requires some deeper digging.

As a background, this survey included responses from 6,127 adults in the U.S. It was conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019.

Almost seven out of ten people surveyed believe that fake news greatly impacts American’s confidence in government institutions. A little more than half believe fake news has an impact on how much we believe one another. Of course, given that our president perpetuates seemingly endless amounts of fake news—from racist immigration hysteria, to his claims about his border wall actually being built, to even this morning, boasting about a trade deal with Mexico that doesn’t exist—this isn’t surprising.

To add some complexity, however, it’s important to look at how this folds out in party lines. While 30% of Democrats who responded report encountering fake news, that number jumps to 49% for Republicans. What makes this even worse? One out of five responding Democrats reports they believe that journalists create fake news, while most Republicans believe that’s the case.

Yikes!

Here’s a weird predicament. According to a different survey, this time from Gallup and the Knight Foundation, 2 out of 5 Republicans label accurate (but negative) stories “fake news.” Specifically, these respondents believe that stories which are factual, but negative toward leaders or groups, should be categorized as “fake news.” Again: Yikes.

Back to the Pew survey. Respondents put the blame on politicians more than journalists, though they feel it’s up to the media to correct the fake news problem. What’s frustrating about this is that respondents don’t tend to blame the people who are creating these fake news stories. This might be why conspiracy theorists and some “alt” news sources gain so much benefit of the doubt (and, scarily, credibility) on the web.

For some perspective, let’s look at where respondents ranked other issues. People were less concerned about immigration (38%) and terrorism (34%), but more concerned with drug addiction (70%), affordable health care (67%), and wealth distribution (51%).

Arguably, fake news has always been a problem, in that misinformation has always existed. The internet allows it to grow a lot faster. It’s possible that because we encounter news on the internet so often—and thanks in part to Trump’s love of the term “fake news”—people are more exposed to the concept than they have been in the past, and thus rank it as a higher concern. If people haven’t always been in the loop about misinformation or media literacy, they might feel that this is a sudden, rising problem and therefore new.

A term like “fake news” is also decidedly vague and abstract, which is why someone like Trump can weaponize it so freely. He can label any news he doesn’t like as “fake news” out of one side of his mouth, while spewing lies out of the other side.

Interestingly, a fair amount of respondents say they’ve changed their media consumption habits in light of the fake news phenomenon. What does that look like? Fact-checking news more and using different sources.

Without a doubt, increased media literacy and questioning information is a good thing.

What’s not a good thing? Having a president that lies regularly. And mainstream media sources that use a lot of gentler words to beat around the bush. Keep in mind that, as found by the Washington Post, in his roughly two years in the White House, Trump has made 10,111 false statements. This breaks down to about 23 lies per day.
 
Likes: Clara007
Nov 2012
10,921
9,117
nirvana
#2
This is an interesting study and article ... it shows how incredibly out of whack the right wing in our country is. The emphasis is mine.

Americans are more concerned with 'fake news' than racism or terrorism, says new study



Marissa Higgins Sunday June 09, 2019 · 12:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

View attachment 4057

What’s one of the biggest problems Americans believe we’re facing in today’s age? According to a new survey released from the Pew Research Center, a good fraction of Americans believe fake news is a bigger problem than issues like racism (40%), sexism (26%), and terrorism (34%). And while fake news and media literacy are significant issues, these findings are fascinating and complex, in a way that requires some deeper digging.

As a background, this survey included responses from 6,127 adults in the U.S. It was conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019.

Almost seven out of ten people surveyed believe that fake news greatly impacts American’s confidence in government institutions. A little more than half believe fake news has an impact on how much we believe one another. Of course, given that our president perpetuates seemingly endless amounts of fake news—from racist immigration hysteria, to his claims about his border wall actually being built, to even this morning, boasting about a trade deal with Mexico that doesn’t exist—this isn’t surprising.

To add some complexity, however, it’s important to look at how this folds out in party lines. While 30% of Democrats who responded report encountering fake news, that number jumps to 49% for Republicans. What makes this even worse? One out of five responding Democrats reports they believe that journalists create fake news, while most Republicans believe that’s the case.

Yikes!

Here’s a weird predicament. According to a different survey, this time from Gallup and the Knight Foundation, 2 out of 5 Republicans label accurate (but negative) stories “fake news.” Specifically, these respondents believe that stories which are factual, but negative toward leaders or groups, should be categorized as “fake news.” Again: Yikes.

Back to the Pew survey. Respondents put the blame on politicians more than journalists, though they feel it’s up to the media to correct the fake news problem. What’s frustrating about this is that respondents don’t tend to blame the people who are creating these fake news stories. This might be why conspiracy theorists and some “alt” news sources gain so much benefit of the doubt (and, scarily, credibility) on the web.

For some perspective, let’s look at where respondents ranked other issues. People were less concerned about immigration (38%) and terrorism (34%), but more concerned with drug addiction (70%), affordable health care (67%), and wealth distribution (51%).

Arguably, fake news has always been a problem, in that misinformation has always existed. The internet allows it to grow a lot faster. It’s possible that because we encounter news on the internet so often—and thanks in part to Trump’s love of the term “fake news”—people are more exposed to the concept than they have been in the past, and thus rank it as a higher concern. If people haven’t always been in the loop about misinformation or media literacy, they might feel that this is a sudden, rising problem and therefore new.

A term like “fake news” is also decidedly vague and abstract, which is why someone like Trump can weaponize it so freely. He can label any news he doesn’t like as “fake news” out of one side of his mouth, while spewing lies out of the other side.

Interestingly, a fair amount of respondents say they’ve changed their media consumption habits in light of the fake news phenomenon. What does that look like? Fact-checking news more and using different sources.

Without a doubt, increased media literacy and questioning information is a good thing.

What’s not a good thing? Having a president that lies regularly. And mainstream media sources that use a lot of gentler words to beat around the bush. Keep in mind that, as found by the Washington Post, in his roughly two years in the White House, Trump has made 10,111 false statements. This breaks down to about 23 lies per day.
 
Apr 2013
38,309
26,302
La La Land North
#3
I actually agree with that. First disclaimer, I don't have to worry about racism so I will admit that to those who are, that would justifiably be a higher priority. And as abhorrent as terrorism is, it affects only a small fraction of the population. A terrible thing for that small fraction and their loved ones but in the greater scheme of things ...

But the ever increasing spread of fake news by people with expertise to do so impacts the quality of government and laws, which has a huge impact on all of us.
 
Likes: Gordy
Dec 2006
26,692
11,865
New Haven, CT
#5
I think what concerns me is that most Republicans said that they felt that - even if accurate - derogatory news about the president was 'fake news.' That is very scary. When we start staying that anything except positive glowing reports about a person are 'fake,' we are essentially abolishing truth.

This is what the fat orange turd has tried to make s.o.p. Whenever anybody says anything bad about him, he decries it as fake news. That's alarming and what I have found most egregious about his list of egregious activities and comments. It's not that he calls them slanted or biased or prejudiced. He calls them 'fake.' That's not only a misrepresentation of the stories, but a redefinition of the word 'fake.'
 
Likes: BubbaJones
Nov 2012
10,921
9,117
nirvana
#6
I think what concerns me is that most Republicans said that they felt that - even if accurate - derogatory news about the president was 'fake news.' That is very scary. When we start staying that anything except positive glowing reports about a person are 'fake,' we are essentially abolishing truth.

This is what the fat orange turd has tried to make s.o.p. Whenever anybody says anything bad about him, he decries it as fake news. That's alarming and what I have found most egregious about his list of egregious activities and comments. It's not that he calls them slanted or biased or prejudiced. He calls them 'fake.' That's not only a misrepresentation of the stories, but a redefinition of the word 'fake.'
Two things taken from the article:

given that our president perpetuates seemingly endless amounts of fake news—from racist immigration hysteria, to his claims about his border wall actually being built, to even this morning, boasting about a trade deal with Mexico that doesn’t exist—this isn’t surprising.

Back to the Pew survey. Respondents put the blame on politicians more than journalists, though they feel it’s up to the media to correct the fake news problem.
 
Likes: Clara007
Dec 2015
17,337
16,320
Arizona
#7
This: Back to the Pew survey. Respondents put the blame on politicians more than journalists, though they feel it’s up to the media to correct the fake news problem.
Grrrr......journalists NOW and ALWAYS have reported everything a sitting president does and says. They report where he goes, who he talks to, who he talks ABOUT and they TRY to interpret (with background info) WHY he says what he says.
When journalists post a quote or a video or a text of WHAT the president says.....and let me stress this....IT IS NOT FAKE NEWS.
But, how they "SPIN" it, might be.
Most news channels ( including our local coverage) FACT CHECK what was/is said. This is not fake news. It is UP TO the voters to separate fake from genuine.
As a voter, it is MY JOB to *READ* what the president says. It is my job to read the proposed legislation--the court decisions--the actual text of speeches. It is my job to sort out the news coverage to opinion pieces. Any American who honestly can't tell the difference between fact and fiction might as well just watch Saturday morning cartoons while eating Fruit Loops and then go ride their Hot Wheels because that's the level of intelligence they've got.
 
Nov 2012
10,921
9,117
nirvana
#9
This: Back to the Pew survey. Respondents put the blame on politicians more than journalists, though they feel it’s up to the media to correct the fake news problem.
Grrrr......journalists NOW and ALWAYS have reported everything a sitting president does and says. They report where he goes, who he talks to, who he talks ABOUT and they TRY to interpret (with background info) WHY he says what he says.
When journalists post a quote or a video or a text of WHAT the president says.....and let me stress this....IT IS NOT FAKE NEWS.
But, how they "SPIN" it, might be.
Most news channels ( including our local coverage) FACT CHECK what was/is said. This is not fake news. It is UP TO the voters to separate fake from genuine.
As a voter, it is MY JOB to *READ* what the president says. It is my job to read the proposed legislation--the court decisions--the actual text of speeches. It is my job to sort out the news coverage to opinion pieces. Any American who honestly can't tell the difference between fact and fiction might as well just watch Saturday morning cartoons while eating Fruit Loops and then go ride their Hot Wheels because that's the level of intelligence they've got.
Yeah. I heard a pundit on a cable news show yesterday say the media should be reporting what actually happened. Not what dotard says.