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Edelman Trust Barometer Special Flash Poll

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On October 31 and November 1, 2017, Google, Twitter and Facebook sent their general counsels to testify before House and Senate intelligence committees to answer questions about the role their platforms played in the dissemination of Russian-instigated disinformation designed to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In the days immediately after the hearings, Edelman fielded a flash poll among the U.S. general population. The survey examined the various definitions people have for fake news, the role people believe social platforms play in disseminating fake news, and whether the social platforms require more oversight and regulation.

Published in: News & Politics
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Edelman Trust Barometer Special Flash Poll

  1. 1. 1 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Flash Poll Politically-Motivated Fake News in the week of the #TechHearings November 6, 2017
  2. 2. What We Did 2 Flash Poll Nov. 3 – Nov. 6, 2017 Online survey of 1,000 U.S. general population respondents Oversample of 113 tech employees who live in the San Francisco Bay Area Social Listening Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2017 Using the Edelman Intelligence Command Center, we analyzed online conversation around “Fake News.” A total of 126,522 mentions were analyzed for associated topics and sentiment. We also analyzed 29,978 mentions using the #TechHearings hashtag. For a detailed taxonomy, please refer to the Appendix. Context Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2017 Google, Twitter and Facebook send their general counsels to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees, and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. All three committees are investigating on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and whether it is linked to President Donald Trump's campaign.
  3. 3. Bad Reporting, Name-Calling, Legitimate Threat— No Agreement On What IS “Fake News” Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q1. Which of the following describes your beliefs about fake news? Total Sample. 3 10% 15% 16% 17% 39% 47% It is not a real problem. It is just hype. A weapon that the Russians are using to disrupt U.S. and other democracies A political dirty trick that Republicans are using to try and win elections A political dirty trick that Democrats are using to try and win elections Insult being over-used to discredit news stories people do not like Sloppy or biased reporting by news organizations/individuals Percent who believe each describes fake news
  4. 4. Bad Reporting, Name-Calling, Political Dirty Trick— Beliefs Regarding “Fake News” Differ By Party Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q1. Which of the following describes your beliefs about fake news? General Population among Independents (N=247) vs Republicans (N=288) vs Democrats (N=372). 4 10% 19% 25% 9% 47% 38% 8% 12% 9% 33% 32% 57% 14% 14% 12% 12% 36% 53% It is not a real problem. It is just hype. A weapon that the Russians are using to disrupt U.S. and other democracies A political dirty trick that Republicans are using to try and win elections A political dirty trick that Democrats are using to try and win elections Insult being over-used to discredit news stories people do not like Sloppy or biased reporting by news organizations/individuals Independents Republicans Democrats Percent who believe each describes fake news
  5. 5. Fake News is Decreasing Trust in Traditional News Organizations 5 36% 26% 33% 3%3% Decreased a lot Decreased a little No effect Increased Percent who say that fake news has affected their trust in traditional news organizations 62% Trust in traditional media has decreased Source: Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q2. How has fake news effected your trust in traditional news organizations? General Population.
  6. 6. Fake News has a Bigger Impact on Trust in Traditional News Organizations Among Republicans 6 22% 28% 42% 4% 4% Decreased a lot Decreased a little No effect Increased Percent who say that fake news has affected their trust in traditional news organizations Source: Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q2. How has fake news effected your trust in traditional news organizations? General Population among Independents (N=247) vs Republicans (N=288) vs Democrats (N=372). . 49% 25% 21% 2%2% Decreased a lot Decreased a little No effect Increased 39% 22% 34% 2%2% Decreased a lot Decreased a little No effect Increased Among Democrats: 50% Trust in traditional media has decreased Among Republicans: 75% Trust in traditional media has decreased Among Independents: 62% Trust in traditional media has decreased
  7. 7. Fake News is Changing News Consumption Behaviors 7 11% 14% 24% 26% 35% 51% It has led me to avoid the news media altogether None at all Has made me doubt the truth of almost every news story I see or hear I have lost trust in the news media in general I am fact-checking and verifying sources more than ever before Has made me more careful about where I get news and information Percent who say fake news has impacted them in each way Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q3. What impact has fake news had on your trust in the information you see in the news media? General Population.
  8. 8. Majority see Social Platforms as Media Companies 8 2% 8% 11% 39% 47% 49% 78% 27% 37% 53% 39% 33% 29% 12% 65% 30% 31% 13% 10% 11% 3% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Apple Amazon Google Facebook YouTube Twitter CNN Media Both Technology Neither Don’t Know Percent who consider each company to be media, tech or both Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q4. For each of the companies listed below, please indicate whether you consider it to be a technology company, a media company, both or neither. General Population.
  9. 9. Majority of Silicon Valley Tech Employees see Social Platforms as Media Companies 9 4% 8% 8% 27% 46% 46% 83% 12% 27% 43% 46% 39% 33% 6% 81% 46% 47% 23% 11% 19% 5% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Apple Amazon Google Facebook YouTube Twitter CNN Media Both Technology Neither Don’t Know Percent who consider each company to be media, tech or both Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q4. For each of the companies listed below, please indicate whether you consider it to be a technology company, a media company, both or neither. Silicon Valley oversample = employed in tech industry and live in San Francisco Bay area (n=113)
  10. 10. More Than Half Blame Social Platforms for Spreading Fake News 10 29% 44% 44% 45% 45% 53% 54% 54% 54% 74% 78% Google Fox News CNN The Democratic party The Republican party Mainstream media The Russian government Facebook Twitter Internet bots Internet trolls Percent who blame each of the following for spreading fake news Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q5. How much do you blame each of the following for the spreading of fake news? (Top 4 Box, Blame) General Population.
  11. 11. Silicon Valley Less Likely to Blame the Mainstream Media and Search but Not Social Platforms 11 19% 47% 23% 27% 42% 31% 57% 62% 58% 73% 76% 29% 44% 44% 45% 45% 53% 54% 54% 54% 74% 78% Google Fox News CNN The Democratic party The Republican party Mainstream media The Russian government Facebook Twitter Internet bots Internet trolls General Population Silicon Valley Percent who blame each of the following for spreading fake news, General Population vs. Silicon Valley Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q5. How much do you blame each of the following for the spreading of fake news? (Top 4 Box, Blame) General Population vs Silicon Valley oversample. Silicon Valley oversample = employed in tech industry and live in San Francisco Bay area (n=113) Significant Differences
  12. 12. Most Want More Regulation to Control Fake News 12 3% 8% 15% 30% 32% 37% 40% 45% 47% 47% 48% We do not have a fake news problem in this country None of the above Keep the government out of this/let technology/media companies fix problem Require that real persons screen content rather than algorithms Shut down companies that spread fake news until they fix the problem Prohibit foreign governments/organizations from paid political ads or content Educate people so that they get smarter about deciding what is true Require companies to screen for fake news Require companies to label the source of the content and ads they host Require companies to disclose who paid for political ads/content Levy large fines against companies that host, publish or repeat fake news Percent who support each of the following to fix the fake news problem 83% net Favor some form of government regulation or new laws to address the Fake News problem Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q6. Which of the following would you support as a means to fixing the fake news problem? General Population.
  13. 13. Facebook, Twitter and Google Top the List of Companies That Should Be More Regulated 13 15% 16% 16% 17% 20% 30% 42% 49% Amazon Apple Microsoft Airbnb UBER Google Twitter Facebook Percent who believe each of the following companies should be subject to increased government regulation Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q7. Which of the following companies do you believe should be subjected to increased government regulation? General Population.
  14. 14. Even Silicon Valley Agrees on Need for More Government Oversight of Tech Companies 14 Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Q6. Which of the following would you support as a means to fixing the fake news problem? Net of items a-g and percent who selected item i. General Population vs Silicon Valley oversample Q7. Which of the following companies do you believe should be subjected to increased government regulation? Companies listed: Facebook, Google, Twitter, UBER, Airbnb, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple. Percent who selected ‘None of the above’. General Population vs Silicon Valley oversample. Silicon Valley oversample = employed in tech industry and live in San Francisco Bay area (n=113) General Population Silicon Valley Favor some form of government regulation or new laws to address the Fake News problem 83% 93% Do NOT believe any of the tech companies listed* require additional government oversight 38% 24% Support keeping government out of this and letting technology and media companies figure our for themselves the best way to handle this problem 15% 9%
  15. 15. Companies Associated with Fake News: Facebook Dominates, Twitter and Google Referenced Heavily Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Data was aggregated through Edelman Intelligence Command Center from 10/29-11/04/17 for a total of 126,552 mentions. Shown total per company and overall will be greater as mentions that reference more than one company will be counted more. Arrows next to company names in the Share of Voice indicate percentage of increased or decreased conversation around that company in comparison to the previous week. 15 Mentions of social media companies in relationship to fake news (share of voice)
  16. 16. Conversations Related to Fake News and Social Platforms Focused on Russia, Trump and the Senate Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Data was aggregated through Edelman Intelligence Command Center from 10/29-11/04/17 for a total of 126,552 mentions. Shown total per company and overall will be greater as mentions that reference more than one company will be counted more. Inner circle references the company, with the outer circle color-coded by which theme references back to the company. 16 Automatically-generated conversation themes around each company and the topic of fake news
  17. 17. Strong Negative Sentiment Around Social Media Companies Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Data was aggregated through Edelman Intelligence Command Center from 10/29-11/04/17 for a total of 126,552 mentions. Shown total per company and overall will be greater as mentions that reference more than one company will be counted more. Arrows next to company names indicate percentage of increased or decreased conversation around that company in comparison to the previous week. Automated sentiment on the top social media companies in relationship to fake news
  18. 18. Twitter, Facebook and Google Mentioned Fairly Equally During #TechHearings conversation Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Data was aggregated through Edelman Intelligence Command Center from 10/31 to 11/02/17 for a total of 29,978 mentions. Not all mentions referenced a company. 18 Share of voice among companies in mentions of #techhearings
  19. 19. General Fake News Conversation Dominated by Trump, Industry Discussion and Russia Source: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Trust Fake News Flash Poll, Nov. 6, 2017. Quid analysis contains data for the 10/03/17 to 11/04/17 sourced through Lexis Nexis. Algorithms within the Quid system determine significant meaning between stories which form “clusters” which are then analyzed and grouped based on similarities and themes determined by the analyst. News article network with 3021 stories. Colored by clusters. Sized by degree. Labeled by clusters. 19 Topic clusters in news coverage around “Fake News” in the month of October Clusters ● Donald Trump 36% ● Industry Discussion 27% ● Russia 12% ● Philippines 6.8% ● Las Vegas Shooting 4.7% ● Malaysia 3.8% ● Word of the Year 2.3% ● IoT Threats 1.8% ● Nigeria 1.7% ● Catalonia 0.70% ● Germany 0.60% ● Iran 0.50% ● UK 0.36%
  20. 20. Appendix 20 Command Center Query Fake News Taxonomy ("social media" OR "social network" OR "social networks" OR "digital media" OR "digital news" OR "digital landscape" OR "live video" OR "livestreaming" OR "live streaming" OR "livestream" OR "live stream" OR "new media" OR google OR twitter OR facebook OR reddit OR 4chan OR youtube) NEAR/10 ("fake news" OR fakenews OR "fake accounts" OR "election interference" OR "election influence" OR "campaign interference" OR "campaign influence" OR "campaign collusion" OR "foreign collusion" OR "foreign interference" OR "foreign influence" OR "automated accounts" OR "automated account" OR "influence campaign" OR "troll farm" OR trollfarm OR misinformation OR disinformation OR "false information" OR "falsified information" OR "bot nets" OR botnets OR "malicious networks" OR "malicious network" OR "voter suppression" OR "election interference" OR "election influence"~2 OR "transparency ads"~2 OR "transparency advertising"~2 OR "transparency advertiser"~2 OR "transparency advertisers"~2 OR "transparency advertisement"~2 OR "transparency advertisements"~2 OR "presidential campaign" OR "presidential campaigns" OR "congressional campaign" OR "congressional campaigns" OR "midterm elections" OR "midterm election" OR "mid- term election" OR "mid-term election" OR "polarized" OR "polarizing" OR "confirmation bias" OR "echo chamber" OR "media bubble" OR "liberal bubble" OR "costal bubble" OR "conservative bubble" OR "midwest bubble" OR "blue state bubble" OR "red state bubble" OR "political climate" OR "fact checking" OR "fact check" OR "fact checker" OR "fact checkers" OR "democracy" OR "democratic process" OR "democratic freedom" OR "russian influence" OR "russian collusion" OR "russian interference" OR "suspending accounts" OR "finding accounts" OR "bad actors" OR "bad actor" OR "alt-right" OR "altright" OR "alt right")
  21. 21. Appendix 21 Quid Taxonomy "fake news" OR fakenews OR "fake accounts" OR "automated accounts" OR "automated account" OR "influence campaign" OR "troll farm" OR "bot nets" OR "botnets" OR "malicious networks" OR "malicious network"

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