Survey: 50% of Americans believe 'made-up news' is a very big problem for the country today. 46% say the same about climate change

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More Americans view made-up news as a ‘very big problem’ for the country, over terrorism, illegal immigration, racism, and sexism.


For once I agree with Republicans – Fox News is a very big problem.


Information pollution is choking us to death.


Wait…so if illegal immigration and terrorism are 9 and 10 on the list respectively…why in the hell is the border wall such a big need again?

Oh, that’s right…number 8 on the list.



Didn’t Russian interference in the election primarily take the form of spreading “made-up news”?


“Survey: 50% of Americans believe ‘made-up news’ is a bigger problem than climate change”

Forgive my ignorance, I may be misreading the mathiness, but wouldn’t the survey have to ask respondents to rank the problems to derive that conclusion? It only asked them which, out of all options offered, do they think are very big problems without quantifying the problem’s significance beyond “very big problem.” The result seems to be, possibly within the margin of error, that almost the same number of people see “made-up news” as a “very big problem” as does the number of people who see “climate change” as a “very big problem.”


They are not incorrect. Fake News is one of the largest problems in the United States. It is preventing us from dealing with Climate Change because Fox has convinced a lot of people that it’s fake. It is causing issues with border security, because Fox has convinced a lot of people that it’s a big deal. It’s caused a lot of problems with Opioid addiction because Fox News has everyone convinced that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and why not take some Opioid pills to take the edge off your impending doom?

And of course Republicans see more fake news. They watch Fox News. Democrats mostly don’t. While there are some fake news sources on the Dem side, they aren’t nearly as wide spread. I probably only see two or three HuffPo articles a month; the average Republican probably sees 4-5 Fox News items a day or more.

Yes, from an existential issue, Climate Change is a more important problem; probably the worst one we are currently facing. It’s the real blue chip.

But Fake News is a vital problem because it prevents us from solving the other problems because even smart people with bad information make bad decisions (such as voting for Trump, turning on Fox News) and the suck thing is smart people with bad information making bad decisions can make people a lot of profit when you can control the bad information.

Republicans aren’t stupid. They just have wildly different information basis that they are making decisions on because they have had a persistent bubble chamber of lies built around them by an interlocking group of people slowly drifting them further and further from reality. From outside the bubble they look stupid; but that is because you haven’t been lied to for 20+ years consistently about things. This is the real fake news issue. That the President is using the phrase “Fake News” to describe and demean information outside the bubble of lies that he hijacked to control is just double plus good irony.


Fake news is a HUGE problem. In fact, it’s responsible for us not being able to solve many of our other HUGE problems.

The problem is, while Republicans thing fake news is a big issue, they can’t discern real news from fake. What’s “fake” to them is whatever their various cult leaders tell them is false.

If I was given the opportunity to end my life by diving into an active volcano in exchange for Fox News and everyone involved disappearing forever, I would seriously consider it.


To be fair, a lot of Republicans are monumentally stupid.


Came to say that we know what we are supposed to conclude, but in a better world we would be able to conclude something quite different. Your version is more succinct than mine would have been.

Maybe a better survey would have found that 100% of Americans believe made-up news is a problem - just that half think it’s Trumpty’s ‘fake news’ and the other half think its the likes of Faux News.

Because surely everyone thinks fake news is a problem, just that everyone has a different definition of ‘fake’.


Well, yes, many, many Republicans are monumentally stupid.

But a lot of any group of people are monumentally stupid. Let’s face it… half of the population is below average. And even average ain’t that hot.


This is fake news.

/s, but see also @ RigelT above.


To be fair made up news interferes with getting climate change prevention done.

Sometimes I wonder if in a connected society we need to rethink our legislative system, move to a more parliamentary approach.

If “the people” aren’t able to give informed consent for legislation we may need to think of ways to make the house of reps less vulnerable to the whims of those who cannot process reality.


Just because Trump was the one who started talking about fake news doesn’t mean it’s a fake problem or that liberals should be so smug about the problem being confined to far-right websites and Fox News. Cherry-picking facts, misleading headlines, thinly-sourced articles, “some say X” as an appropriate frame for an article advancing a media outlet’s usual editorial point of view are epidemic across the media spectrum. Just looking at boingboing today there are at least two stories about fake news - the article about the Dutch teen who sought and was refused assisted suicide, but was characterized in mis-translated articles as having been euthanized, and the article about Paul Manafort being put in “solitary” in a NYTimes headline that was later adjusted. I would also note that the headline of this article (implying a ranking of problems against each other and citing 50% instead of 4% as the % Americans who see fake news as a bigger problem) and reporting these conclusions without referencing the statistics that the results for climate change and fake news are within 0.2% of each others’ 95% confidence intervals is rather ironic.


If “stick it to the libs” was asked, 98% of GOPers would have agreed.

I don’t think this polling speaks to comparative impact of the polled issues, it had much more to do with tribal signaling IMHO.

Well I guess they are in for a surprise!

The Republicans themselves are perpetuating alternative realities, too - I hadn’t realized how far it had gotten until I saw an official Republican party mailing recently. It was a survey (really a request for money), sent to registered Republicans, in which they asked which Democratic positions they should be fighting against. The problem was - not a single one of the positions was something the Democrats actually held, even remotely. Things like: giving birth to babies and killing them, making private health insurance illegal, banning airplanes, forcing people to walk to work… it was all absolutely bonkers. All these positions were being presented as if they were explicit parts of proposed legislation being put forward by Democrats.

We can’t underestimate just how different the reality they inhabit is from actual reality.


What exactly do they think is “made-up news?” Is it commentators and talking heads blathering on about nothing, offering stale opinions instead of facts, or is it reporting a lie the president told? What is it?

Here’s “fake news” for you-- Benghazi. Of course the attacks in Benghazi were real, but the furor over it was in the news over and over for months, years, and I would hear from conservatives completely unsubstantiated (often disproven) accounts about cover ups, Hillary or Obama or [FITB] telling fighter planes that were fueled and ready to go to “stand down”, etc.

Fake news is Obama’s birth certificate. Fake news is corruption and quid-pro-quo at the Clinton Foundation. Fake news is Vince Foster’s “mysterious death” or “the Clinton Death List.” Fake news is the “suspicious” murder of Seth Rich. Fake news is “the deep state.” Fake news is any and all global warming denial.

Fake news is pretty much anything Sean Hannity promotes, or which gets endlessly cut-and-pasted in the comments of news stories, and which is typically already shown to be false by Snopes or Politifact.

So yeah, I think “fake news” is a big problem, but who is defining what’s fake?