The vast majority of Americans -- 81% -- agree misinformation is a major problem, with most putting the blame on politicians and social media companies, according to a poll released on Friday.
In all, 73% of respondents agreed social media companies are responsible for spreading misinformation, and 72% said the same of US politicians, according to the Pearson Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Nearly 80% put the blame on social media users.
Those numbers far eclipse the figures for people who think foreign governments are to blame for misinformation, with just 54% thinking Russia does so, 53% saying China does, and 39% agreeing Iran does. About two in five Americans think undefined other foreign governments do so, according to the poll.
“Americans are more likely to blame U.S. politicians, social media companies, and social media users for the spread of misinformation than foreign governments,” Sheila Kohanteb, a top official at the Pearson Institute, said in a statement.
“The results show that the public believes the spread of misinformation is an issue that the American government, companies, and individuals all need to try to address," she added.
The share of Americans who put the onus for stopping the spread of misinformation on politicians or social media companies is roughly equal. About 70% think US politicians are responsible for stopping the dissemination compared to 67% who said the same of social media companies./agencies