The declining public trust in the news media and polarization of news audiences have profound effects on civic life.
Many experts say public online spaces will significantly improve by 2035 if reformers, big technology firms, governments and activists tackle the problems created by misinformation, disinformation and toxic discourse. Others expect continuing troubles as digital tools and forums are used to exploit people’s frailties, stoke their rage and drive them apart.
48% of US adults say the government should restrict false information online, even if it means losing some freedom to access/publish content.
Here are five facts about how much Americans have heard about the QAnon conspiracy theories and their views about them.
Just one-in-ten Americans say social media sites have a mostly positive effect on the way things are going in the U.S. today.
Videos from independent news producers are more likely to cover subjects negatively and discuss conspiracy theories.
73% of Americans express little or no confidence in tech companies to prevent the misuse of their platforms to influence the 2020 election.
Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say major tech companies favor the views of liberals over conservatives. At the same time, partisans differ on whether social media companies should flag inaccurate information on their platforms.
U.S. adults in this group are less likely to get the facts right about COVID-19 and politics and more likely to hear some unproven claims.
Most Americans (71%) have heard of a conspiracy theory that alleges that powerful people intentionally planned the coronavirus outbreak.