29 Sep'17

Many are concerned about fake news on Internet, report says


A BBC World Service poll, conducted by GlobeScan, polled more than 16,000 adults from 18 countries between January and April of this year about Internet-usage.


Fake news

They found 79% of respondents surveyed are worried about fake information on the Internet.


Respondents from developing countries, like Brazil, Nigeria and Kenya, expressed more concern about fake news.


Younger people were found to be more concerned with fake news, in comparison to older generations. GlobeScan suggest that this could be a result of their Internet usage being higher than older people’s.



Internet regulation

Although fake news is a concern for a large majority of people across the world (global average being 78%), the majority believe that the Internet should not be regulated by the government.


Greek (84%) and Nigerian (82%) respondents were the most against Internet regulation.


The fact that Nigerians were largely concerned about fake information, but one of the top countries against the Internet being regulated, is an interesting correlation. Do they not believe that the government would be able to block fake news?


Other Western countries are torn between wanting the Internet to be regulated; however most still find a majority that do not believe in government regulation.


It is only UK and China that saw a majority that believe the Internet should be regulated by the government.



Expressing opinions online

GlobalScan found that 53% said they are increasingly wary of expressing their opinions online.


Developed countries, mostly Western, are warier of expressing opinions online in comparison to developing countries. For example, 94% of Nigerians said they felt safe to express their feelings online, whereas only 40% of the US respondents said they feel safe expressing their opinions online.


Female Internet users are more likely to feel unsafe expressing their opinion online, in comparison to males. Male Internet users are torn as to whether or not they are concerned voicing their opinion.


Despite the concerns about the Internet, 82% of respondents believe that access to it should be a fundamental right.