News 

Over 80% of people in the UK regularly come across fake news online

The newspaper industry marketing body, Newsworks, today reveals that over 8 in 10 people in the UK come across fake news online in their day-to-day lives and over half of people (52%) admit they have been deceived by fake news at least once.

Over 80% of people in the UK regularly come across fake news online
Jo Allan: “As an industry we need to be doing more to encourage advertisers to invest more heavily in quality environments.” Photograph: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay.

Given the dangers posed by fake news, the study further found that almost half (45%) online sometimes check the reliability of content online, while 12% of people never bother to look at all.

Of those respondents who do investigate the accuracy or reliability of what they read online, almost half look for similar articles to verify a story (46%); 35% look at the name of the publisher to check if it is from a reputable source; and 31% look for other signs of authentic news reporting such as a writer’s name and publisher. Together, says Newsworks, this highlights the importance of the trust and heritage that news brands offer.

The risks of inadvertently advertising around harmful content and funding nefarious organisations have been a hot topic since The Times’ investigation in 2017, with data showing UK advertisers unwittingly spending £110 million a year advertising on misinformation sites.

Newsworks chief executive, Jo Allan, said: “With the rise in misinformation, trusted journalism matters more now than ever before. And as fake news has become less easy to control, we have seen a surge in people coming to news brands for information that they can rely on. But this isn’t enough and as an industry we need to be doing more to encourage advertisers to invest more heavily in quality environments like news brands.”

On Thursday 9 June, Newsworks will be hosting its first-ever ‘Festival of News’ which focuses on the importance of quality trusted journalism and why it matters to readers and advertisers. Speakers will include representatives from across the news industry as well as senior agency and client leaders.

The study, which was in collaboration with One Poll, delved into the dark world of fake news and misinformation alongside the role that trusted journalism plays to combat it. 2,000 UK consumers were polled in March and April 2022 as part of Newsworks’ State of the Nation report.

This follows another study commissioned by Newsworks in November 2021 which found almost 70% of people are relying on journalists to lead the fight against misinformation on climate change. More than half of those polled said there was a worrying amount of misinformation about climate change on social media.


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