December 15, 2016

Almost a quarter of Americans acknowledged sharing fake news political news online, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

The report, which is based on a telephone survey of more than 1,000 people, showed that 23 percent of respondents shared fabricated stories. In that group, 14 percent said they knew the story was fake at the time they shared it.

Nearly a quarter of Americans reported sharing fake news. (Source: Pew Research Center)

Nearly a quarter of respondents reported sharing fake news. (Source: Pew Research Center)

The report also shows that the majority of respondents believe that fake news is creating misunderstandings across the country. Sixty-four percent of people surveyed said that fabricated stories were inspiring “a great deal” of confusion, with 24 percent of Americans saying that it created “some confusion.” Just more than 10 percent said it was causing little or no confusion.

More than half of Americans say that fake news how sowed "a great deal" of confusion.

More than half of Americans say that fake news how sowed “a great deal” of confusion.

The study also shows that fake news is a bipartisan concern. About six in 10 Republicans say that bogus news causes “a great deal” of confusion, with about the same number of Democrats (64 percent) saying the same. This is also mostly true across education, race, gender and age, but there is some difference by income.

Meanwhile, most respondents say they are confident that they can identify fake news. Eighty-four percent said they were either “very” or “somewhat” confident in their ability to recognize fake news, with just 15 percent saying they weren’t sure they could spot it.

You can read the full report here.

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Benjamin Mullin was formerly the managing editor of He also previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow,…
Benjamin Mullin

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