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People say Facebook biggest source of misinformation: poll

People say Facebook biggest source of misinformation: poll
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More than 6 in 10 Americans say they regularly encounter misinformation on Facebook, amid the company's efforts to ban groups linked to conspiracy theories.

A poll commissioned by Newsy from YouGov found that 65 percent of Americans say they encounter misinformation on Facebook, higher than any other social media or traditional media platform.

Misinformation on Facebook topped misinformation from politicians by single digits, with 62 percent of Americans claiming to hear misinformation from politicians regularly, while other significant sources included Twitter at 53 percent, and cable news at 51 percent. The poll did not provide respondents a definition of "misinformation," and relied on respondents to judge the content they were seeing for themselves.

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Just 3 in 10 Americans surveyed said that radio stations or newspapers were sources of disinformation.

One in 10 Americans said that they believed that they never encounter deliberately false information presented as fact. 

The poll comes as social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have cracked down on misinformation and conspiracy theories. Late last year, Facebook announced that it would ban groups associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, and in January the company hired its first chief compliance officer as it faces scrutiny from regulators.

"While the overwhelming majority of what people see on Facebook is everyday content from friends and family, we take aggressive steps to combat misinformation across the platform. We remain the only company to partner with more than 80 fact checking organizations and scale those fact-checks to millions of duplicate posts, we promote accurate information from credible sources and remove content that puts people at risk for imminent harm and breaks our rules. We also consult with outside experts and work to improve our own systems to stay ahead of the challenge," said a Facebook spokesperson.

"Protecting the health of the public conversation is important to us, and we’ve taken steps to limit the spread of misleading information and protect the election conversation," added a spokesperson for Twitter.

YouGov's poll was commissioned between Jan. 22-25 and surveyed 1,223 U.S. adults. Information about the margin of error was not immediately available.

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