More than 99% of the citizens, journalists and legal organizations have been confronted to fake news, which primarily circulated via social media, online blogs and online newspapers, as the results of the public consultation launched by the European Commission regarding the effectiveness of current actions that address fake news show. New solutions are foreseen to be designed this spring at European level.
Due to the opportunity to easily upload content online and the rapid spread of information across new media channels, fake news have a great impact on the audiences. Intentional disinformation through misrepresentation or distortion of reality in the form of news pieces has become a serious problem to be tackled at European and global levels.
The European Commission has just released the summary report of the public consultation on fake news and online disinformation, which took place between 13 November 2017 and 23 February 2018, targeting citizens, social media platforms, news organisations (broadcasters, print, news agencies, online media and fact-checkers), academia and civil society organisations. With 2986 replies, the answers show, among other facts, that:
- 99% of the respondents have been confronted to fake news.
- Respondents mainly discern fake news from correct information by comparing different news sources (90%), searching for the source (82%), relying on media (70%) or on journalists' reputation (55%).
- Post factum fact-checking is not seen as a solution (50%), as it will not reach the people that saw the initial fake news.
- Social media are not considered to be doing enough to tackle fake news.
- There is a clear concern for censorship that would limit the freedom of expression, and a significant wish for greater transparency, school education and media literacy (74%).
The results are analysed by the European Commission and will contribute to the Communication on fake news and online disinformation to be adopted this spring.
See more information about the consultation on fake news here.
Read the summary report of the consultation here.