Speed Reads

survey says

Americans agree fake news is a big problem — for other people

Most Americans agree fake news is a real problem, new poll results from Pew Research Center reveal. Nearly two-thirds — 64 percent — say it has caused "a great deal of confusion" about basic current events, and another 24 percent believe false stories have caused at least some confusion. This conclusion is pretty consistent across demographic indicators, including in self-identified members of both major parties.

But hardly anyone is willing to cop to being among the confused. Only 16 percent will admit to having shared a fake news story they believed at the time to be real, and 84 percent expressed confidence they can detect fake news and avoid being fooled. Fake news, it seems, is a problem that mostly affects other people.

As for who is responsible for fixing the problem, poll respondents offered no clear preference, assigning obligation in almost equal measure to individuals, the government, and social networks. This view was once again held quite consistently across demographic lines, with one key exception: Americans over 50 are more likely (53 percent) to say fake news is mostly the government's job to fix than are younger adults (38 percent).