Will Fake News Scare The Public Into Regulated Internet?
During the Trump Campaign, Fake News was a Hot Topic. Many Mainstream Media Outlets were outed or accused of being such. Recent Polls have shown that Fake news is still an ongoing concern and people are still not sure what to believe. In a Recent BBC world Poll of 17 countries, 79% were concerned about what was real or fake on the internet. This uncertainty has caused The UK (53%) and China (67%) to be in favor of the Government Regulated Internet. Globally countries are still opposed to Government Regulated Internet, but if the Fake News Problem persists and is not properly addressed, more countries could follow suit.
There is growing anxiety about expressing opinions online. In the 15 countries that have been regularly tracked in this poll, 53% felt unsafe doing this, compared to 49% in 2010.
But there was a marked difference between attitudes in the developed and developing world.
In Nigeria, Peru and China there were big majorities confident about expressing opinions, but in Europe and North America, there was far more anxiety, with the French and the Greeks least likely to want to speak freely.
As global use of the internet grows, there also appears to be mounting enthusiasm for it to be seen as something to which everyone should be entitled. 53% of those questioned agreed that access to the internet should be a fundamental right, with much bigger majorities agreeing in Brazil, Greece, and India.
The survey highlights some differences between men and women in attitudes to the internet. Men are still more likely to use it, with 78% saying they had been online in the last six months, compared to 71% of women.
And women were somewhat less likely than men to feel safe expressing their views online. That anxiety was most pronounced in developed countries. In France, just 14% felt safe, whereas in the UK the figure was 36% and in the USA 35%.
British women were also more concerned about fake content than men, and were more keen to see some regulation of the internet.