Edelman: Social media is deeply distrusted right now because there is so much fake news

Edelman: Social media is deeply distrusted right now because there is so much fake news
© Screenshot/HillTV

Edelman CEO Richard Edelman said on Tuesday that the distrust swirling over social media has become worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Social media is deeply distrusted right now because there's too much fake news," Edelman told Hill.TV. "People trust those who have credentials. ... Everybody wants to know specifics. They don't just want to get facts through social media."

Edelman added that while the pandemic has increased the popularity of mainstream news outlets, many are still viewed as partisan.

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One pandemic-related topic that has garnered a lot of mistrust, Edelman explained, is the disbursement of the coronavirus relief Congress has passed.

Edelman said people can understand why some industries such as airlines need governmental aid but have pushed back against the idea of businesses that are still financially stable getting funding through the stimulus package.

"We have to be really careful on, just as in 2008 and 2009, government bailouts, and if we do, they should be merited and paid back, and there should be transparency as to how they're used," Edelman noted.

The Paycheck Protection Program, one of the largest sections of the two most recent stimulus packages, consists of hundreds of billions of dollars in forgivable aid to small businesses as long as they use the money to continue paying their workers at the same rate as before the pandemic.