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The fake news problem is the responsibility of social media firms, say users

Tyrone Stewart

Social appsThe vast majority of people believe that it is the responsibility of social media companies to remove fake news from their platforms, with most also agreeing that they should be the ones to monitor fake news, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found that 85 per cent of people feel social media firms have a responsibility to remove fake news, while 79 per cent believing that social media companies should be monitoring for fake news on their platforms. Just 39 per cent think governments share responsibility for monitoring fake news.

31 per cent of adults with a social media account have seen something they would consider to be fake news in the past week – this grows to 51 per cent when looking at the past three months.

Alongside the growing fake news, there is declining confidence in social media content. Back in 2014, the CIM found that 62 per cent of people trusted content on social media. Now, this has fallen to 34 per cent.

“At CIM, we are concerned about the damage fake content has upon public trust. 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,” said Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

“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 government proposals mentioned by Daly also leave private messaging exempt from monitoring, but the public don’t entirely agree with this.

41 per cent of those surveyed would like people with a history of problematic online behaviour to have their messages monitored, while 31 per cent think that all private messages should be monitored for ‘buzzwords’. Only 26 per cent of people do not believe private messages should be monitored.