News shared via Facebook viewed more skeptically than other news

December 12, 2016, 8:30 PM GMT+0

Americans trust news shared by friends and relatives on Facebook less than traditional media

The question of 'fake news' has become one of the hot issues after the 2016 election, as the rise of obviously fake news stories on social media platforms have led to significant numbers of Americans believing in things that did not happen. This idea of fake news has not gone unchallenged, however, not least from people who note that deliberately false news has always played a role in politics, and has only been amplified in 2016 by the increasing dominance of Facebook in providing news to Americans.

YouGov's latest research shows that only 11% of Americans have 'a lot' of trust in the news that their friends and family share on Facebook. 61% trust this news 'a little', while 19% don't trust it 'at all'. News from friends and family shared via Facebook is viewed noticeably more skeptically than news from friends and family shared by other means. Overall, 32% of Americans have 'a lot' of trust in news that a friend or relative tells them about in other ways.

Only 8% don't trust news from friends and relatives 'at all'. News from Facebook is also the second most likely to be totally untrusted (19%), only coming behind news found while browsing the internet (22%). Less than a fifth of Americans solidly distrust either newspapers (16%) or TV news (18%).