Fake News Concerns Affecting Consumers’ Online Habits

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Over recent years, the words ‘fake news’ has become commonplace, with many accusations over fake news stories coming from the President of the United States, Donald Trump. Since the onset of the digital revolution, many people have taken to online news sites in order to find out what is going on around the world.

However, a recent report has suggested that people are now increasingly shying away from online news sites that are not extremely well known, and some are now favouring other forms of news access such as TV reports and radio rather than online news sites.

Will People Turn to Traditional Media?

As a result of the digital era, people have been going online for all sorts of purposes over recent years from accessing business tools such as Hurdlr tracking software to streaming movies and reading up on the latest news stories. When it comes to the latter, some believe that concerns about fake news could drive people away from internet technology and result in them turning to TV and radio for the latest news.

A recent study was carried out with 2,000 participants, with the aim being to see whether fake news could actually end up saving traditional media. Close to 40 percent of those taking part in the survey said that they were now more wary about clicking on the news that was not from a trusted source. In addition to this, more than 60 percent of those responding said that concerns over fake news had made it more important to access news from sources that had large, dedicated news teams that were known for getting the truth.

Around 44 percent of those taking part in the study also said that they would have greater confidence about accessing news from sites that were clear about their editorial policies. Respondents were also asked about their thoughts on different forms of news media, and the one to come out on top was radio, which was closely followed by TV. This was then followed by traditional print media, with all those below being sources of online news and news feeds via social media.

In addition to providing the results of the survey, the report also provided suggestions with regards to how fake news could be dealt with and how consumers could help. This included the ability to flag news that they thought was fake, eliminating the use of clickbait, and more government intervention to create a database of fake news sites. More stringent regulation over social media news was also suggested.

A Return to the Pre-Digital Era?

The questions that many people are now asking themselves is whether fake news concerns could signal a return to the pre-digital era when it comes to accessing news stories. A lot of people these days head online to catch up on the latest breaking news, international and national stories, and specialist news such as business and politics. However, based on the results of this study and the report that has been released, it seems that a lot of people are considering going back to basics.   


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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