Social media is least trusted news source in Canada and U.S. – poll

Agence France-Presse
While trust in traditional news services including radio and newspapers rated above 80% in both countries, trust in social media is lowest among all sources at 43% in the United States and 32% in Canada

SOCIAL MEDIA. This photo illustration taken on March 22, 2018 shows apps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks on a smartphone in New Delhi. Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP

OTTAWA, Canada – About half of Americans and Canadians get their news primarily from social media, yet most don’t trust this source of information, according to a survey released Tuesday.

According to the Maru/Matchbox poll, 52% of Americans and 48% of Canadians said they find out what’s happening in the world through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Only television (64%) and news websites (49%) in the United States ranked higher as sources of news.

But while trust in traditional news services including radio and newspapers rated above 80% in both countries, trust in social media was lowest among all sources at 43% in the United States and 32% in Canada.

Political news is the most likely to contain misinformation, according to respondents, topping other news categories such as entertainment, lifestyle or business. Americans are also more likely than Canadians to believe that fake news is easy to spot.

That was a significant concern for Americans (84%) worried about “fake news” in the upcoming 2020 US presidential election. But half were confident they could easily spot false or inaccurate information.

“Social media is changing our relationship with the news,” said Sara Cappe of Maru/Matchbox. 

“While it has become a common source of news and news-related information, people are less trusting of what they find there. The upside is that many feel more engaged with the news than ever before.”

The pollster interviewed 1,516 Canadians and 1,523 Americans for the survey commissioned by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. – Rappler.com