Liberals, Conservatives Say They Are Confident They Can Spot Fake News as the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Draws Near

Sep 10, 2019


People are aware of fake news on social media and are confident in their ability to spot it, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website. The 2020 U.S. presidential election is approaching, bringing more attention to the saturation of fake news on social media platforms.

The majority of social media users (97%) say they are confident in their ability to spot fake news on social media, but experts question if people will actually be able to identify fraudulent content as emerging technologies improve. 

Artificial intelligence can be used to create realistic and convincing “deep fakes,” or hyper-realistic videos or images that make someone appear to do or say something he or she didn’t do. 

For example, in August 2019, artists created a deep fake video of Elon Musk singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Although this video was meant to entertain, it shows how the technology could be applied to mislead and misinform social media users. 

 

Everyone Agrees Fake News is an Issue

Perhaps the only thing people on opposite sides of the political spectrum can agree on is that fake news is a problem.  Nearly all liberals (92%), moderates (94%), and conservatives (94%) think fake news on social media is an issue. 

Fake news not only threatens politicians but also the reputations of individuals and businesses. 

Fake News Doesn’t Stop People From Using Social Media 

Fake news is not unique to just one social media platform. 

More than half of people have seen fake news on Facebook (70%) and Twitter (54%) in the past month, while many have also seen fake news on YouTube (47%), Reddit (43%), and Instagram (40%).

Fake news doesn’t deter people from using social networks, even if they see it regularly: More than half of Facebook users (53%) say fake news doesn’t impact their use of the platform, and only 1% say they would delete Facebook because of fake news. 

The Manifest surveyed 537 U.S. social media users. 


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