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Concerns about online fake news in Belgium and the Netherlands 2018

According to results of a 2019 survey, people from Belgium were more concerned about fake news than Internet users from the Netherlands. Roughly 45 percent of the Belgian respondents said they were either very or extremely concerned about “what is real or fake” when thinking about online news, whereas 30 percent of the Dutch respondents mentioned this. Online news, especially video, was used more often in Belgium than in the Netherlands in 2018.

Belgium has multiple online news outlets

Belgium has two main languages: Flemish (or Belgian Dutch) in the northern region of Flanders and French in Wallonia in the south and (parts of) the Brussels Capital-Region (the city of Brussels and its surrounding villages). This leads to large differences in online media consumption in the country. When it comes to Flemish brands, the website of the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws was used the most frequently on a weekly basis. RTL News was the most popular online news outlet in the French parts of Belgium.

Dutch online news consumption

In the Netherlands, was the most used online news brand in 2018: 46 percent of the respondents indicating they used this website. Non-domestic websites were used as well: four percent of the respondents said they used either BBC News online or as a source for news. The use of Facebook for posting and sharing news, however, decreased between 2017 and 2018.

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement: "Thinking about online news, I am concerned about what is real and what is fake on the internet."

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Release date

June 2019


Belgium, Netherlands

Survey time period

January 2019 to February 2019

Number of respondents

4,034 respondents

Special properties

Internet users; data were weighted to targets based on census/industry accepted data on age, gender, and region to represent the total population of each country. The sample is reflective of the population that has access to the Internet.

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

The source does not provide information regarding multiple answering options.

* For this specific survey question, the surveyed markets are:

Europe: United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

Americas: United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico.

Asia Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan.

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