Social media leading source of internet distrust: Survey

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A whopping 89 per cent of Canadians indicated that social media was the leading source of internet distrust.

Almost nine in 10 surveyed said they had been fooled by fake news at least once. Facebook was the most commonly noted source of phoney news, followed by Twitter.

A global survey has confirmed what many have suspected to be the case for a long time now: Many are beginning to distrust the internet as a result of skepticism of social-media services like Facebook and Twitter.

One in four people who took part in the survey said they didn’t trust the internet, a view increasingly being driven by lack of confidence in social media, governments and search engines.

The opinion research involved more than 25,000 internet users in 25 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

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It was conducted by pollster Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., in partnership with the Internet Society and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The survey report says growing distrust in the internet prompted people to disclose less information in cyberspace, use the internet more selectively and buy fewer things online.

Overall, more than half of those surveyed were more concerned about their privacy compared to a year ago.

The survey was conducted between Dec. 21, 2018, and Feb. 10 of this year. The margin of error ranges from plus or minus 3.1 to 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20, depending on whether the survey was done online or in person.

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All this comes on the heels of governments around the world that are working hard to tackle fake news that is the bane of the internet. -CINEWS

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