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Fake news in Germany - statistics & facts

In 2020, the German population most often uses the following sources of information: asking relatives, friends or acquaintances, searching online and watching reports on television. The smallest share of the population goes to a bookstore or library. A survey conducted in 2018 on opinions about fake news and filter bubbles showed that 62 percent of German respondents thought that the average person in Germany did not care about facts on politics and society anymore, they just believed what they wanted. 47 percent of those surveyed were confident they could tell real news from fake.

For information about political events, the most popular source in 2020 was public television, followed by daily newspapers and the internet in general. The majority of the German population did not use Facebook or Twitter for this purpose.

As of 2020, 67 percent of Germans still considered information in the media to be credible. In general, the information supply provided by the German media is considered to be either good or very good among consumers. On a European scale, based on a 2018 survey conducted in selected countries, Germany came last in the ranking in terms of public opinion on the amount of lying and misuse of facts in politics and the media. However, almost half of the German population surveyed thought these problems had increased in the last 30 years.

Where did German media consumers come across fake news? As of 2017, Facebook was cited as the main source, followed by Twitter and forums. Consumers most often identified fake news based on respective reports in the media, by checking the facts or information presented, and also following hints from other users or friends. The topic areas in which false information was most often claimed to be noticed were refugees and immigration, the last U.S. presidential election campaign and politicians both in Germany and Europe.

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