Trust at an all time low - Brits believe fake news will increase over the next year

Two thirds of people in the UK believe their trust is being compromised with fake news and that it is here to stay, with exposure to ‘fake news’ set to increase over the next year.

The European-wide trust survey by Readly digital magazine subscription showed that on average 59% of people across Europe are concerned about fake news. UK respondents are worrying the most at 64% whilst 56% of Germans are concerned about fake news and half (48%) of Swedish people.

Almost half (43%) of respondents believe they are being exposed to fake news ‘often’ and one in five (20%) are concerned that the exposure occurs ‘very often’. Whilst one in ten (8%) believe they manage to avoid it altogether.

Taking the issue into our own hands

As trust in what we are seeing, reading and consuming is compromised, people are taking precautions to ensure what they are reading is truthful and from an accurate source.

Almost half of respondents (48%) said they have taken to checking the facts themselves and a third (32%) read from a trusted platform such as a magazine app. Other ways people ensure the content is trusted is to read from a well known writer (29%) or to read content that has been shared by a trusted source (11%) showed the YouGov research on behalf of Readly

Ranj Begley, UK MD and Chief Content Officer at Readly said: “Fake news continues to be an issue with the rise of social channels and the echo chamber effect, but the consumer is wising up to it and turning to established content from trusted sources.

The research shows that readers are putting intelligent measures in place to filter out the noise. People are turning to curated content that indulges passions, inspires and educates. This may explain why in the UK and across Europe we are seeing the digital magazines on our platform read more regularly and widely than ever before.”

When considering their approach to avoiding fake news, 15% said they are currently or would be willing to pay for verified journalism and 26% said that someday in the future they believe that they will pay for verified journalism checked by a publisher to avoid the risk of consuming fake news.

Expectations for the future

The research showed that future expectations are low as over two thirds (70%) of people in the UK believe that fake news will increase over the next couple of years. Those aged 35-44 are most concerned with four in five of them (77%) believing we will see an increase in fake news. Furthermore, one in five people (22%) believe there is no way of knowing if the content is truthful.

Readly is a digital subscription service that lets customers have unlimited, “all-you-can-read” access to thousands of national and international magazines in one app – both streamed and downloaded. Readly continues to make quality, curated content more accessible than ever before, so that more people can enjoy and trust in the magic of magazines.


Notes to Editors

Research: Conducted by the YouGov Analysis Institute on behalf of Readly from 1-6 11 2019. Sample of 2546 UK respondents and 7603 European respondents across Readly’s 5 key markets (Sweden, Germany, UK, The Netherlands and Italy). Regional and age breakdown available.