Ability to recognize fake news in the U.S. 2016-2019

According to two surveys, one of which was held in December 2016 and the other in November 2019, the share of adults in the United States who were very confident in their ability to distinguish real news from false information dropped from 39 to 26 percent in three years. Whilst most consumers said that they felt confident fact-checking news, it is clear that the spread of false information has affected U.S. news audiences' faith in themselves to be able to discern fact from fiction.

Level of confidence in distinguishing between real news and fake news among adults in the United States in 2016 and 2019

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

December 2016 and October 29 to November 11, 2019

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online panel

Supplementary notes

Question: How confident are you in your own ability to recognize news that is made up?
The survey held in December 2016 was done by telephone.

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Statistics on "News in the U.S."

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