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The number of fake news stories is growing’

There is a growing worry among internet users around the world concerning fake news sites According to an BBC World Service poll.

There is also a growing resistance against government intervention through regulations, the BBC report.

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In the survey, which included 18 nations, 79 percent of the respondents expressed concern about fake information and what was genuine on the internet.

However, in just two of the countries, China and the UK did the majority of people want their governments to restrict the internet.

The BBC conducted the same survey in 2010.

There were only 15 countries covered in both polls. In this group of respondents 5 percent of respondents thought that the internet should not be restricted in the latest poll, up from 51 percent at the time the question was asked seven year prior.

In the case of regulation the issue of regulation, 67 percent of Chinese respondents were now in favour of the idea, whereas there was a more balanced view in the UK with 53 percent in support.

The countries with the most opposed to regulation included Greece with 84 percent and Nigeria in which more than 82 percent of people opposed to the concept.

The survey of over 16000 adults took place by Globescan between January and April.

Hazy line

The concerns about what’s real and what’s not available on the internet have grown after a period that saw”fake news” has been popular and lucrative as fake news is published on Facebook making their creators huge amounts of money through advertising.

Brazilians were the most concerned about the blurred line that separates the real and fake and fake, with 92 per cent of them expressing some worry. In other countries in the developing world, there was a lot of anxiety, with figures of 90% in Indonesia and 88 percent for Nigeria and 85 percent in Kenya.

Germany has been the sole country that was surveyed in which a small majority of the respondents – 51 percent stated that they were not concerned about this issue. In the lead-up to the election in Germany, there has been a determined effort in Germany to take down false media.

Globescan’s Chairman Doug Miller said: “These poll findings suggest that the era of ‘fake news’ may be as significant in reducing the credibility of on-line information as Edward Snowden’s 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance revelations were in reducing people’s comfort in expressing their opinions online.”

There is a growing fear of the online platform for expressing opinions. Within the fifteen countries frequently monitored in this poll 53 percent of respondents were concerned about doing so in comparison to 49 percent in 2010.

There was however a distinct distinction in attitudes between the developed and the developing world.

Then, in Nigeria, Peru and China there were huge majority confidence in their opinions, however within Europe as well as North America there was far more nervousness, with French and Greeks most likely not wanting to express their opinions freely.

As the use of the internet expands and expands, there appears to be an increasing desire to see it as a right to which all ought to have access. 53 percent of those who were surveyed said that access to the web should become a fundamental right with even larger majority of people being in agreement with this sentiment in Brazil, Greece and India.

The study reveals some distinctions between women and men with regards to their views on the internet. The majority of men are more likely to be online and 78 percent of respondents saying they were online within the last six months, as opposed to 71% of women.

The women were less likely than men to feel comfortable in expressing their opinions on the internet. The most anxiety-inducing factor was in the developed world. In France just 14 percent felt secure, while within the UK the percentage was 36 percent as well in USA 35 percent.

British females were more worried about fake content than men and they were more likely to see some sort of regulation of the internet.



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