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44% of internet users believed false information, Yomiuri poll

  • October 15, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 11:50 a.m.
  • English Press

Forty-four percent of respondents admitted they had taken false information on the internet to be true, a figure slightly exceeding the 41 percent who said they had not believed non-factual material, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted from September to October, prior to Tuesday’s opening of the 72nd Newspaper Week.


The percentage of internet users among respondents — excluding those who said they do not use the internet at all when asked about the average internet usage time per day or did not answer the question — stood at 78 percent. Of that figure, 54 percent said they had taken false information on the internet to be true.


When using the internet, 59 percent of respondents said they have more exposure to opinions and ideas similar to theirs, greatly exceeding the 22 percent who said they see an increased amount of differing opinions and ideas.


Eighty-four percent said schools should teach children how to determine authentic sources of information. While newspapers are used as a teaching material at elementary, junior high and high schools, 89 percent said it is ideal for children and students to read newspapers.


Meanwhile, 71 percent said newspapers accurately report the facts, down 1 percentage point from the previous year’s survey, while 74 percent called newspaper reports reliable, down from 76 percent in the previous year. Both figures remained at high levels.


Asked about which media sources they rely on for news reports — with up to three answers allowed — the largest percentage of respondents at 63 percent chose “private broadcasters,” followed by newspapers at 55 percent and NHK TV programming at 49 percent.


The survey was conducted from Sept. 4 to Oct. 10 among 3,000 eligible voters nationwide with 2,176 respondents, or 73 percent, giving valid answers.

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