Most Americans Believe Social Media Bots Are Spreading Fake News, Study Shows
Photo Credit: Belgrade, Serbia - June 6, 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 screen with social media applications of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, ChatON, Hangouts, WhatsApp, Instagram.

Most Americans Believe Social Media Bots Are Spreading Fake News, Study Shows

A new study by the Pew Research Center found that most Americans are concerned about the rise of social media bots and the spread of misinformation online. Sixty-six percent of Americans have heard of social media bots and only 47 percent are very or somewhat confident they can recognize these accounts on social media.

The Pew Research Center—a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about attitudes and trends—surveyed over 4500 adults finding that 66 percent believe social media bots have a mostly negative effect on how well-informed Americans are about current events. Eighty-percent of Americans think bots are mostly used for bad purposes.

According to the study, younger Americans are more knowledgeable about social media bots and men are 23 percent more likely than women to have heard about bots. Across demographic groups, Americans who have heard about bots believe they are mostly used for malicious purposes.

In comparison, a similar survey conducted after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, 84 percent of Americans were reportedly very or somewhat confident in their ability to recognize fake news.