Americans worried about online misinformation

The majority of Americans believe U.S. politicians and social media companies spread misinformation online more than China, Russia or other foreign governments, a poll released Friday found.

According to a poll carried out by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and the University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute, around three-quarters of respondents believe that politicians, social media companies and social media users are responsible for spreading misinformation.

Less international concerns: By comparison, only 48 percent of respondents saw the U.S. government as responsible for spreading misinformation, and just over half saw the Russian and Chinese governments as culpable for this issue. Even less, around 40 percent saw the Iranian government and other nations as responsible for misinformation online.

Splits on the issue are present however, with respondents identifying as Republican twice as likely than those identifying as Democrats to hold the U.S. government accountable for misinformation, and those over the age of 45 more likely to believe a foreign government is responsible.

It wasn’t me: The poll found that while almost all respondents see the spread of misinformation as a problem, and around three-quarters were concerned about being exposed to misinformation, more than half were not concerned with the idea they had personally spread misinformation online.