Experts are split on whether the coming years will see less misinformation online. Those who foresee improvement hope for technological and societal solutions. Others say bad actors using technology can exploit human vulnerabilities.
People deal in varying ways with tensions about what information to trust and how much they want to learn. Some are interested and engaged with information; others are wary and stressed.
Many experts say lack of trust won't hinder increased public reliance on the internet. Some expect trust to grow as tech and regulatory changes arise; others think it will worsen or maybe change entirely.
Many experts fear uncivil and manipulative behaviors on the internet will persist – and may get worse.
Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock examines the changes – some profound, some subtle – that the U.S. experienced during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Americans used President Obama's "We the People" online petitioning system to address health care, veterans’ issues and illnesses among other issues. But the impact of petitions was modest and varied.
Many Americans want control over their personal information and freedom from observation during the activities of their daily lives, but they are not confident that the government agencies or businesses that collect data about them can keep that information private and secure.
Many hope that more transparency and data sharing will help journalists, make officials more accountable and improve decisions. But very few think agencies are doing a great job of providing useful data.
Fully 82% of internet users (61% of all Americans) looked for information or completed a transaction on a government website in the past year. Most government website visitors were happy with their experience, accomplishing everything or much of what they wanted to do.