The rise in disinformation (i.e. intentionally false or inaccurate information that is being spread deliberately) in recent years is pushing readers, viewers, and listeners back to traditional news sources and away from online sources, with over half of participants in a survey (56%) placing more trust in traditional news sources – such as print, radio and TV – than in those found online.
The threat to democracy from disinformation has been highlighted in new research which shows that disinformation is being widely consumed.
Over a third of respondents (37%) report having friends who frequently share ‘fake news’ on social media.
Consequently, one in five (18%) people have gone on to share a story that they later discovered was false.
The consumption and spreading of both misinformation (i.e. information that is unintentionally false or inaccurate) and disinformation are also impacting the subsequent decisions and actions of the Irish public, with approximately one in six (16%) respondents reporting to have made a decision they later regretted, as a result of the false information.
- 43% now trust online news sites less, due to the rise of disinformation
- 37% say ‘fake news’ has changed the way they think about a brand or company
- 56% find traditional news sources (e.g. radio, TV, and newspapers) more trustworthy sources of news than online sites
- 44% report they have difficulty knowing which sources to trust.
The nationally representative research, based on a sample of 1,000 respondents, was undertaken by Storyful, Ireland’s home-grown authority on social media intelligence.