More Than 80 Percent of Americans Concerned About ‘Made-Up’ News

According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, 82% of Americans are either very concerned (48%) or “somewhat concerned” (34%) about the impact of “made-up” news reported on the 2020 presidential election, The Hill reports.

The new data from the Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways Project aims to explore how American’s news habits and attitudes affect their perception of the 2020 election.

“Concern is highest among people who follow political news most closely, older adults and those who display more knowledge about politics in general,” the data reveals. “The least concerned are those who don’t follow political news closely at all, people with the least knowledge about political affairs and the youngest adults.”

Those most likely to be very concerned about the influence of made-up news tend to be older and with a greater knowledge of politics. “Only one-third of those ages 18 to 29 say they are very concerned about the prospect of made-up news affecting the election,” reports Pew. In the next age group, ages 30 to 49, that percentage rises to 43%. “The percentage of those who are very concerned virtually doubles among those who are ages 65 and older (64%).”

“The less one follows political news, the less concerned one is about the influence of made-up news,” the study concludes.

The findings echo that of another Pew study in June that found many Americans think the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) said made-up news and information greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions.

The June study also found that people believe made-up news is more important than terrorism, racism, climate change or illegal immigration.

The results of the most recent study were based on 12,043 U.S. adults polled from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11 with a margin of error of 1.43 percentage points.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Recycling bin for newspapers at Santa Monica Recycling Center, Los Angeles County, California, USA

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