The majority of consumers (85%) agree that social media companies are responsible for removing fake news, according to a study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Having surveyed 2,000 adults, the study found that 79% of respondents believe social media companies should monitor fake news across their platforms. However, just 39% believe that government has the same responsibility.
“At CIM, we are concerned about the damage fake content has upon public trust,” explained Chris Daly, Chief Executive of the CIM. “As marketers we spend £3.9bn on internet display advertising with the aim of bringing value to our customers. Our professional members and the marketing industry as a whole needs confidence they are spending their marketing budgets wisely.”
Half of respondents (51%) added that they had seen posts on social media which they would consider fake news within the last three months, whilst 31% of people said they had seen fake news in the last week.
“The public are unequivocal in their belief that it is the responsibility of social media companies to find and remove fake news from their platforms. Yet the Government’s proposals for regulating social media platforms will not require them to monitor and remove it. In other words, even after the introduction of regulation, fake news may continue unchecked.”
The rise in fake news and spam content could be contributing to social media users losing confidence in platforms such as Facebook. According to a 2014 survey by CIM, 62% of consumers said they trusted social media. In 2019, this has fallen to 34% with just 1% remaining very confident in information on networks being accurate.
At the same time, 41% of users back the governmental monitoring of messaging apps such as WhatsApp for people with problematic behaviour whilst 31% believe private messages should be monitored for buzz words.