More Americans Worried About ‘Fake News’ Than Terrorism, Racism And Climate Change: Poll

more-americans-worried-about-‘fake-news’-than-terrorism,-racism-and-climate-change:-poll

05-06-19 08:23:00,

A new survey from Pew Research Center has found that Americans view fake news as a bigger threat than terrorism, violent crime, climate change, racism and illegal immigration. 

The survey also found that 68% of US adults say that made-up news and information “greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions,” while 54% say it’s having a major impact on confidence between fellow Americans, and 51% say it impacts the ability of political leaders to get work done. 

Who’s to blame? According to those surveyed, political leaders and activists are more responsible for fake news than journalists, however they believe that it is the primary responsibility of those in the news media to fix the problem. They also said that the issue will become worse down the road. 

The vast majority of Americans say they sometimes or often encounter made-up news. In response, many have altered their news consumption habits, including by fact-checking the news they get and changing the sources they turn to for news.

In addition, about eight-in-ten U.S. adults (79%) believe steps should be taken to restrict made-up news, as opposed to 20% who see it as protected communication. –Pew

Nearly four-in-ten (38%) of Americans reported ‘often’ coming across made-up news and information, while another 51% say they ‘sometimes’ do. In response, Americans have changed their news and technology habits. 

Around 78% of respondents say they fact-check news stories, while 63% have stopped getting news from a particular outlet. 52% say they have changed the way they use social media, while 43% have reduced their overall consumption of news. 

Concern about made-up news has also affected how U.S. adults interact with each other. Half say they have avoided talking with someone because they thought that person would bring made-up news into the conversation.

In the digital environment, half of social media news consumers have stopped following someone they know because they thought the person was posting made-up news and information, and the same percentage have stopped following a news organization for this reason. –Pew

Republicans more concerned than Democrats

According to the survey, Republicans express greater skepticism than Democrats about fake news coverage,

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Journalists worried as new UK law could send citizens to jail for going to terror hotspots

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12-04-19 06:41:00,

New UK counter-terrorism legislation could see Britons face up to 10 years in jail if it’s proven they have entered or remained in a “designated area” overseas, as free press campaigners warn British journalists face arrest.

Coming into force on Friday, the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, will give UK border guards enhanced powers to stop and search individuals without suspicion, on the grounds of tackling “hostile state” activity.

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UK ministers unveiled the sweeping new proposals last year in a bid to tackle the threat from so-called foreign fighters. The act allows Home Secretary Sajid Javid to designate an area, dependent on parliamentary approval.

There are exemptions written into the legislation to protect those that have legitimate reasons to be in ‘designated areas,’ but campaigners fear that varying interpretations of the new laws could see journalists being locked up.

Free press and free speech groups, including Reporters Without Borders and Index, warn that due to the vague nature of the new counter-terrorism act, it could lead to a crackdown on journalists’ freedom to travel if they fail to answer questions.

A journalist taking a domestic flight could be stopped without any suspicion of wrongdoing. It would be an offence for the journalist not to answer questions or hand over materials, with no protection for confidential sources.

A UK cross-party committee report on human rights last year, warned the government that the new powers on counter-terrorism risk crossing the line on human rights, restrict freedom of speech and place obstacles on access to information.

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