Fake news: Norwegian NMA publishes survey

posted on 18 April, 2017   (public)

Fake news: Norwegian NMA publishes survey

In February 2017, the Ministry of Culture asked the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet) to carry out an omnibus survey on fake news. The survey was designed by the NMA, and based on similar studies on fake news in the US (Pew Research Center December 2016) and Sweden (TU, February 2017).

A representative sample of 1000 people aged 18-80 were asked questions about the sharing and spreading of fake news, the ability to detect such news and who they think is responsible for preventing the dissemination and increasing media literacy among the population. The survey was carried out by a polling institute in March 2017, and the report was handed over to the Ministry and made public on 3 April 2017. 

Key findings include the following:

  • 55% of the respondents report reading, weekly or more often, news that they consider to be inaccurate, and 45% report reading news, weekly or more often, that they consider deliberately falsified.
  • 23% of the respondents have shared news at least once that they later realized was fake, and 15% per cent have at least once shared news that they knew or suspected to be fake.
  • When asked where they most often read false information presented as news, 62% mention Facebook, 21% traditional media, 15% search engines, 14% YouTube and 12% alternative news websites.
  • When it comes to respondents' ability to detect whether a news is false or untrue, 47% answered that they are confident or very confident that they can do it. 40 % are unsure, while 14 percent do not know.
  • For 68% of the respondents, traditional media have a very big responsibility for preventing the spreading of fake news, while only 27% considered that the population has a substantial responsibility for preventing the spreading of fake news. 
  • According to the poll, increasing media literacy and source criticism is primarily a responsibility of traditional media (50%), schools and education (47%), and public authorities (46%). 38% stated that social media have a very large responsibility and 26% that the responsibility rests with the population. 

Source: Norwegian Media Authority/Nordicom