Ipsos research finds people are willing to fight for the truth

A majority are willing to call out misinformation in personal, private conversations

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Kate Silverstein Media Relations Specialist
Get in touch

Topline Findings

Washington, DC, October 14, 2020

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 25-26, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents.

For full results, please refer to the following annotated questionnaire.

Full Annotated Questionnaire

How confident are you that the content or information you receive from each of the following sources is true?

Total Confident Summary

 

Total

(N=1,003)

Something I saw with my own eyes

92%

Government records (birth/death/marriage; property, licenses, etc.)

84%

My memory

80%

Live audio/video as it happens

76%

Statements from researchers/academics

76%

My K-12 education

67%

Eyewitness statements

57%

My religious leaders

56%

Communications or advertising from major companies

40%

Statements from government officials

36%

Live audio/video as it happens

 

Total

Very confident

28%

Somewhat confident

48%

Not very confident

17%

Not at all confident

3%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

4%

Confident (net)

76%

Not confident (net)

20%

Eyewitness statements

 

Total

Very confident

11%

Somewhat confident

46%

Not very confident

32%

Not at all confident

5%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

5%

Confident (net)

57%

Not confident (net)

37%

Statements from government officials

 

Total

Very confident

7%

Somewhat confident

29%

Not very confident

41%

Not at all confident

20%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

3%

Confident (net)

36%

Not confident (net)

61%

My religious leaders

 

Total

Very confident

19%

Somewhat confident

36%

Not very confident

15%

Not at all confident

11%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

17%

Confident (net)

56%

Not confident (net)

27%

Statements from researchers/academics

 

Total

Very confident

25%

Somewhat confident

51%

Not very confident

16%

Not at all confident

5%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

3%

Confident (net)

76%

Not confident (net)

21%

Something I saw with my own eyes

 

Total

Very confident

57%

Somewhat confident

35%

Not very confident

5%

Not at all confident

1%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

2%

Confident (net)

92%

Not confident (net)

6%

Government records (birth/death/marriage; property, licenses, etc.)

 

Total

Very confident

41%

Somewhat confident

43%

Not very confident

9%

Not at all confident

4%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

3%

Confident (net)

84%

Not confident (net)

13%

My memory

 

Total

Very confident

31%

Somewhat confident

50%

Not very confident

13%

Not at all confident

3%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

3%

Confident (net)

80%

Not confident (net)

16%

My K-12 education

 

Total

Very confident

23%

Somewhat confident

44%

Not very confident

14%

Not at all confident

5%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

14%

Confident (net)

67%

Not confident (net)

19%

Communications or advertising from major companies

 

Total

Very confident

6%

Somewhat confident

34%

Not very confident

39%

Not at all confident

16%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

5%

Confident (net)

40%

Not confident (net)

55%

In what places are you willing to call out misinformation to others, generally? Select all that apply. 

 

Total

In a personal, private conversation

63%

At a gathering of friends and family

51%

In a group conversation

45%

On my own social media feeds

32%

On my friends’ or family members’ social media feeds

28%

In my own name on public comments

27%

Anonymously on public comments

25%

On a digital discussion or group like Reddit

16%

I am not willing to do this

18%

 [Asked if Q2 ≠ I am not willing to do this] How, specifically, are you willing to call out misinformation to others? Select all that apply. 

 

Total

(N=821)

Ask the person for the source of their information

59%

Question the validity or credibility of the source

54%

Share information from a fact-checking website or other source of authority

46%

Show them how the information/image was altered

46%

Debate them/Offer another point of view

42%

Share links to alternative information or news

37%

“Pre-bunk” them by sharing factual information, unprompted, and asking for their thoughts

23%

Scold/shame them for sharing misinformation

9%

Other

1%

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total Agree Summary

 

Total

I am confident that I can tell new news content from opinion content.

65%

All media is biased

56%

Journalists can advocate for a cause and still write stories that are truthful

54%

News organizations can take a side on an issue and still be truthful

45%

I am confident that the average person in the U.S. can tell news content from opinion content.

24%

I am confident that the average person in the U.S. can tell news content from opinion content.

 

Total

Strongly agree

7%

Somewhat agree

17%

Neither agree nor disagree

22%

Somewhat disagree

30%

Strongly disagree

21%

Don’t know

3%

Agree (net)

24%

Disagree (net)

51%

I am confident that I can tell new news content from opinion content.

 

Total

Strongly agree

25%

Somewhat agree

40%

Neither agree nor disagree

23%

Somewhat disagree

8%

Strongly disagree

2%

Don’t know

2%

Agree (net)

65%

Disagree (net)

10%

News organizations can take a side on an issue and still be truthful

 

Total

Strongly agree

12%

Somewhat agree

33%

Neither agree nor disagree

24%

Somewhat disagree

18%

Strongly disagree

11%

Don’t know

3%

Agree (net)

45%

Disagree (net)

28%

Journalists can advocate for a cause and still write stories that are truthful

 

Total

Strongly agree

17%

Somewhat agree

37%

Neither agree nor disagree

21%

Somewhat disagree

14%

Strongly disagree

9%

Don’t know

3%

Agree (net)

54%

Disagree (net)

23%

All media is biased

 

Total

Strongly agree

23%

Somewhat agree

33%

Neither agree nor disagree

24%

Somewhat disagree

12%

Strongly disagree

5%

Don’t know

3%

Agree (net)

56%

Disagree (net)

17%

How confident are you that the following types of information you receive or see from companies are truthful?

Total Confident Summary

 

Total

Product packaging or labels

73%

Shareholder information (like annual reports)

68%

Company website

60%

Employee reviews on external sites (e.g. Glassdoor, Indeed)

51%

Press releases

45%

Company blog

39%

Advertising

38%

Product packaging or labels

 

Total

Very confident

14%

Somewhat confident

59%

Not very confident

18%

Not at all confident

4%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

5%

Confident (net)

73%

Not confident (net)

23%

Advertising

 

Total

Very confident

7%

Somewhat confident

31%

Not very confident

42%

Not at all confident

14%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

6%

Confident (net)

38%

Not confident (net)

56%

Company website

 

Total

Very confident

9%

Somewhat confident

51%

Not very confident

26%

Not at all confident

7%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

7%

Confident (net)

60%

Not confident (net)

33%

Shareholder information (like annual reports)

 

Total

Very confident

15%

Somewhat confident

53%

Not very confident

17%

Not at all confident

5%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

10%

Confident (net)

68%

Not confident (net)

22%

Press releases

 

Total

Very confident

8%

Somewhat confident

38%

Not very confident

37%

Not at all confident

11%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

7%

Confident (net)

45%

Not confident (net)

48%

Company blog

 

Total

Very confident

8%

Somewhat confident

31%

Not very confident

35%

Not at all confident

11%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

15%

Confident (net)

39%

Not confident (net)

46%

Employee reviews on external sites (e.g. Glassdoor, Indeed)

 

Total

Very confident

12%

Somewhat confident

39%

Not very confident

27%

Not at all confident

7%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

15%

Confident (net)

51%

Not confident (net)

33%

For each type of information you might see, read, or hear about a company, please indicate if that information makes you more or less likely to trust that company. 

More Likely to Trust Summary

 

Total

Your own product/service experiences

81%

Consumer reviews

67%

Ingredient/process transparency

60%

Financial disclosures

50%

Legal cases/judgements

49%

Sustainability/social responsibility programs

48%

Comments from others on social media

28%

Statements from the CEO

25%

The company’s statements/presence on social media

25%

Celebrity endorsements

13%

Celebrity endorsements

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

5%

Somewhat more likely to trust

9%

Makes no difference

43%

Somewhat less likely to trust

18%

Much less likely to trust

21%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

5%

More likely to trust (net)

13%

Less likely to trust (net)

39%

Statements from the CEO

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

8%

Somewhat more likely to trust

18%

Makes no difference

51%

Somewhat less likely to trust

13%

Much less likely to trust

6%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

6%

More likely to trust (net)

25%

Less likely to trust (net)

18%

Sustainability/social responsibility programs

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

10%

Somewhat more likely to trust

37%

Makes no difference

34%

Somewhat less likely to trust

8%

Much less likely to trust

4%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

6%

More likely to trust (net)

48%

Less likely to trust (net)

12%

Ingredient/process transparency

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

15%

Somewhat more likely to trust

45%

Makes no difference

25%

Somewhat less likely to trust

5%

Much less likely to trust

2%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

8%

More likely to trust (net)

60%

Less likely to trust (net)

7%

Legal cases/judgements

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

12%

Somewhat more likely to trust

37%

Makes no difference

29%

Somewhat less likely to trust

11%

Much less likely to trust

4%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

8%

More likely to trust (net)

49%

Less likely to trust (net)

15%

Financial disclosures

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

11%

Somewhat more likely to trust

39%

Makes no difference

34%

Somewhat less likely to trust

8%

Much less likely to trust

2%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

6%

More likely to trust (net)

50%

Less likely to trust (net)

10%

Your own product/service experiences

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

46%

Somewhat more likely to trust

35%

Makes no difference

10%

Somewhat less likely to trust

3%

Much less likely to trust

2%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

5%

More likely to trust (net)

81%

Less likely to trust (net)

5%

Comments from others on social media

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

6%

Somewhat more likely to trust

22%

Makes no difference

39%

Somewhat less likely to trust

16%

Much less likely to trust

10%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

7%

More likely to trust (net)

28%

Less likely to trust (net)

26%

The company’s statements/presence on social media

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

6%

Somewhat more likely to trust

19%

Makes no difference

49%

Somewhat less likely to trust

13%

Much less likely to trust

6%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

7%

More likely to trust (net)

25%

Less likely to trust (net)

19%

Consumer reviews

 

Total

Much more likely to trust

18%

Somewhat more likely to trust

50%

Makes no difference

20%

Somewhat less likely to trust

6%

Much less likely to trust

3%

Don’t know/Does not apply to me

4%

More likely to trust (net)

67%

Less likely to trust (net)

9%

[Randomized order of Q7-Q9]

To what extent do you think technology companies (e.g. Facebook, Google, Apple, or Microsoft) are responsible for…

Total Responsible Summary

 

Total

Educating people on how to use their platforms and services

71%

Actively enforcing that standards of behavior are followed on their platforms

71%

Censoring or removing content proven to be misleading or untrue

68%

Educating people on how to act and behave on their platforms

65%

Financially supporting small businesses that make up their customer base

54%

Educating people on how to use their platforms and services

 

Total

Very responsible

32%

Somewhat responsible

40%

Not very responsible

16%

Not at all responsible

6%

Don’t know

7%

Responsible (net)

71%

Not responsible (net)

22%

Financially supporting small businesses that make up their customer base

 

Total

Very responsible

18%

Somewhat responsible

36%

Not very responsible

24%

Not at all responsible

10%

Don’t know

12%

Responsible (net)

54%

Not responsible (net)

34%

Educating people on how to act and behave on their platforms

 

Total

Very responsible

28%

Somewhat responsible

36%

Not very responsible

19%

Not at all responsible

9%

Don’t know

6%

Responsible (net)

65%

Not responsible (net)

29%

 

Total

Very responsible

41%

Somewhat responsible

30%

Not very responsible

14%

Not at all responsible

8%

Don’t know

7%

Responsible (net)

71%

Not responsible (net)

22%

 

Total

Very responsible

38%

Somewhat responsible

30%

Not very responsible

15%

Not at all responsible

10%

Don’t know

7%

Responsible (net)

68%

Not responsible (net)

25%

To what extent do you think healthcare companies (e.g. insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals) are responsible for…

Total Responsible Summary

 

Total

Educating people about diseases, symptoms, and possible treatments

84%

Educating people on how to lead a healthy lifestyle

82%

Educating people on how to stay active and physically fit

80%

Rewarding customers who lead a healthy lifestyle

64%

Educating people on how to lead a healthy lifestyle

 

Total

Very responsible

34%

Somewhat responsible

48%

Not very responsible

9%

Not at all responsible

4%

Don’t know

5%

Responsible (net)

82%

Not responsible (net)

13%

Educating people on how to stay active and physically fit

 

Total

Very responsible

32%

Somewhat responsible

48%

Not very responsible

12%

Not at all responsible

3%

Don’t know

5%

Responsible (net)

80%

Not responsible (net)

15%

Educating people about diseases, symptoms, and possible treatments

 

Total

Very responsible

44%

Somewhat responsible

40%

Not very responsible

9%

Not at all responsible

3%

Don’t know

5%

Responsible (net)

84%

Not responsible (net)

11%

Rewarding customers who lead a healthy lifestyle

 

Total

Very responsible

25%

Somewhat responsible

39%

Not very responsible

20%

Not at all responsible

8%

Don’t know

8%

Responsible (net)

64%

Not responsible (net)

28%

To what extent do you think financial services companies (e.g. banks, credit card companies, lenders) are responsible for…

Total Responsible Summary

 

Total

Educating people on how to invest and grow their money

74%

Educating people on how to manage their money

73%

Educating people on how to save and build wealth

72%

Financially supporting small businesses that make up their customer base

69%

Providing assistance to customers who are struggling to make ends meet

63%

Educating people on how to manage their money

 

Total

Very responsible

26%

Somewhat responsible

47%

Not very responsible

18%

Not at all responsible

5%

Don’t know

5%

Responsible (net)

73%

Not responsible (net)

22%

Educating people on how to invest and grow their money

 

Total

Very responsible

29%

Somewhat responsible

45%

Not very responsible

16%

Not at all responsible

4%

Don’t know

6%

Responsible (net)

74%

Not responsible (net)

20%

Educating people on how to save and build wealth

 

Total

Very responsible

25%

Somewhat responsible

48%

Not very responsible

17%

Not at all responsible

5%

Don’t know

6%

Responsible (net)

72%

Not responsible (net)

22%

Financially supporting small businesses that make up their customer base

 

Total

Very responsible

24%

Somewhat responsible

44%

Not very responsible

18%

Not at all responsible

5%

Don’t know

9%

Responsible (net)

69%

Not responsible (net)

23%

Providing assistance to customers who are struggling to make ends meet

 

Total

Very responsible

24%

Somewhat responsible

39%

Not very responsible

23%

Not at all responsible

6%

Don’t know

8%

Responsible (net)

63%

Not responsible (net)

29%

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 25-26, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,003, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson

Senior Vice President, US

Public Affairs

+1 202 420-2025

chris.jackson@ipsos.com

Kate Silverstein

Media Relations Specialist, US

Public Affairs

+1 718 755-8829

kate.silverstein@ipsos.com   

Mallory Newall

Director, US

Public Affairs

+1 202 420-2014

mallory.newall@ipsos.com

 

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Kate Silverstein Media Relations Specialist

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