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Sharing of made-up news online in the U.S. 2019

A survey conducted in March 2019 assessed if adults in the United States have ever knowingly or unknowingly shared fake news or information online. A great proportion of respondents unknowingly spread fake news, with 49 percent reporting they had shared news online which they later found was made up. However, ten percent of surveyed adults admitted to sharing information online which they knew was false.

Fake news in the U.S.

Fake news, or news that contains misinformation, has become a prevalent issue within the American media landscape. Fake news can be circulated online as news stories with deliberately misleading headings, or clickbait, but the rise of misinformation cannot be solely accredited to online social media. Forms of fake news are also found in print media, with 47 percent of Americans witnessing fake news in newspapers and magazines as of January 2019.

News consumers in the United States are aware of the spread of misinformation, with many Americans believing online news websites regularly report fake news stories. With such a high volume of online news websites publishing false information, it can be difficult to assess the credibility of a story. This can have damaging effects on society in that the public struggled to keep informed, creating a great deal of confusion about even basic facts and contributing to incivility.

Share of adults who have ever shared fake news or information online in the United States as of March 2019

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Release date

June 2019


United States

Survey time period

February 19 to March 4, 2019

Number of respondents

6,127 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online panel

Supplementary notes

The source does not provide the original wording of the question posed during the survey. The wording of the question chosen for this statistic may therefore differ slightly from the original.

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Statistics on "News in the U.S."

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