According to the latest CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey, that involves over 25,000 internet users in over two dozen countries, almost nine in 10 Canadians surveyed said they had been fooled by fake news at least once. Facebook was the most commonly noted source of phony news, followed by Twitter (via CTV News).
The survey was conducted 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 results come amid widespread concern about the use of social media to influence the upcoming federal election.
Although the federal government has repeatedly voiced concerns about the behaviour of social-media services, Facebook and Twitter remain the leading source of internet distrust. 10% of Twitter users and 9% of Facebook users told the researchers they had closed their accounts in the last year as a direct result of fake news.
Among those who distrust the internet, 81 percent cited cybercriminals as a reason. Seventy-five percent pointed to social-media platforms, 66 percent mentioned foreign governments, 66 percent cited government generally and 65 percent blamed search engines such as Google for the erosion of trust.
“They still trust the internet, in the majority, but I think there’s some storm clouds on the horizon,” said Eric Jardine, an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech and a fellow at CIGI.
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%, 19 times out of 20, depending on whether the survey was done online or in person.