Most Americans are worried people in their community might decide how to vote based on fake news, but few think they’ll be persuaded in the same way

Knight/Ipsos poll finds most Americans feel that social media companies should restrict deceptive or misleading election information on their platforms

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Bernard Mendez Data Journalist
Get in touch

Washington DC November 03, 2022 – In the lead-up to the election, new Knight/Ipsos polling finds that many Americans are worried about election disinformation on social media. Relatedly, most Americans are worried that people in their community will be influenced by misleading information, yet few feel that they will be persuaded by disinformation they come across. At the same time, many Americans agree that social media companies should restrict election disinformation, something that wins bipartisan agreement.

To read more, please visit Knight's website.

These findings are from a Knight/Ipsos poll of 1,024 Americans ages 18 and older conducted between October 14 and 16, 2022 using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Detailed findings:

  1. Most Americans worry people in their community will be swayed by misleading information about the election. Few are worried they might be influenced in the same way.
    • Overall, about three in five (61%) Americans are concerned that people in their community might decide on how to vote in the 2022 midterms based on false or misleading information. Only one in four (25%) feel that they might make a decision on how to vote in the 2022 midterms based on false or misleading information.
    • Slightly more Democrats (28%) and Independents (28%) than Republicans (19%) worry that they might decide on how to vote in the 2022 midterms based on false or misleading information. Likewise, more Democrats (72%) and Independents (60%) than Republicans (52%) are concerned that people in their community might decide on how to vote based on false or misleading information.
  2. Many Americans are worried about disinformation on social media.
    • About three in four Americans (76%) think false information on social media is a very or somewhat serious problem.
    • Majorities of Democrats (88%), Republicans (71%), and Independents (70%) think disinformation on social media is a serious problem.
  3. Democrats and Republicans agree that social media companies should restrict election disinformation.
    • Nearly all Democrats (90%), Republicans (80%), and Independents (80%) feel that social media companies should restrict offers to buy or sell votes with cash online.
    • Whether social media companies should restrict content online that makes claims of election fraud with inaccurate or no evidence produces bigger partisan gaps. Nearly all Democrats (89%) and most Independents (65%) feel this way, while a bare majority of Republicans (54%) agree.
KF

About the Study

This Knight Foundation/Ipsos study was conducted October 14-16, 2022 by Ipsos using our KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,024 general population adults age 18 or older.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult U.S. population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in English. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, race/ethnicity by education and race/ethnicity by region. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) from the US Census Bureau with metropolitan status from the 2021 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS).

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–34, 35–49, 50–64, and 65+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • 2020 Vote Status (Biden, Trump, Did not vote)

The margin of sampling error is plus or 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.17. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 6.3 percentage points for ages 18-34, plus or minus 6.9 percentage points for ages 35-49, plus or minus 6.5 percentage points for ages 50-64, and plus or minus 6.8 percentage points for ages 65+. The design effect is 1.18 for ages 18-34, 1.20 for ages 35-49, 1.16 for ages 50-64, and 1.14 for ages 65+.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 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. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

Our tagline "Game Changers" sums up our ambition to help our 5,000 customers move confidently through a rapidly changing world.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and Mid-60 indices 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 Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Bernard Mendez Data Journalist

Society