A strong majority of Canadians are concerned that fake news is making it more difficult to find accurate sources of information, and they want the government to do something about it, a new survey from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression finds.
More than eight in ten Canadians agree (51%) or somewhat agree (31%) that the prevalence of false information designed to appear legitimate is making it more difficult to find accurate news, while 17% of Canadians disagree (9%) or somewhat disagree (8%) and one per cent are unsure, according to a survey conducted by Nanos Research for Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).
The survey also found that more than seven in ten Canadians agree (38%) or somewhat agree (34%) that government regulation is needed to prevent the proliferation of fake news. One in five disagree (14%) or somewhat disagree (9%) and five percent are unsure.
“This is a clear message to governments that Canadians are concerned about the effect of fake news on our democracy,” Tom Henheffer, CJFE Vice President, said. The survey also found that citizens believe the federal government could do a better job of informing Canadians about its operations, Henheffer added.
More than six in ten Canadians say that the federal government is not transparent (35%) or somewhat not transparent (27%) when it comes to information that is available about what governments do, the survey found. Only one in three Canadians think the federal government is transparent (9%) or somewhat transparent (25%) and four percent are unsure.
“Canadians believe the federal government should do more to combat fake news, and they believe one way to do that is for the government to become more transparent itself,” Henheffer said.
The survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, using a hybrid telephone/online survey, was conducted between April 28 and May 4 2018, and is considered accurate within a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.