C4 study reveals only 4% surveyed can identify true or fake news

Category: News Release

Channel 4 reveals only 4% of people surveyed can correctly identify true or fake news

As part of Channel 4’s Fake News Week, the broadcaster has commissioned a survey to find out how easily people can distinguish between real and fake news and how concerned they are about disinformation purporting to be fact. Fake News Week is a season of programming starting on 6th February that will give an insight into the post-truth world.

Distinguishing the fake from the true:

  • When those surveyed where shown six individual news stories, three of which were true and three of which were fake, only 4 per cent were able to correctly identify them all correctly
  • Half (49 per cent) of all respondents thought at least one of the fake stories was true
  • Despite half (49 per cent) of the respondents stating they were either very or fairly confident that they could tell the difference between a fake news story and a real news story - half of this group believed at least one of the fake news stories shown
  • Of those that stated Facebook as their primary source of news, 71 per cent thought at least one of the fake stories was true whereas only 47 per cent of those who primarily get their news from broadcasters thought this

Where people source their news:

  • 53 per cent stated their primary source of news was from Broadcast News (TV/Radio/Online)
  • 17 per cent stated their primary source of news was newspapers
  • 13 per cent stated other websites (not online newspapers) as their primary source
  • 6 per cent said their primary source of news was from Facebook
  • 2 per cent said Twitter was their primary source of news

     Concerns over effects of fake news and not enough being done:

  • Half (49 per cent) state they are worried about the effects of fake news, especially 18-24s (57 per cent stating they are worried)
  • Almost half of adults (46 per cent) think we need more fact checking sites – with significantly higher agreement among 18-24s (69 per cent think we need more) and those that use Facebook as their primary source of news (60 per cent)
  • Two thirds of the British public (66 per cent) think social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter aren’t doing enough to tackle Fake News
  • 55 per cent think the government is not doing enough to tackle fake news

Channel 4 – Fake News Week

Channel 4 News

Channel 4 News will explore where fake news comes from and its implications in a number of reports, interviews and discussions, working with its award-winning FactCheck team. The team, founded in 2005, has broadened its remit from checking the claims of those in power to also debunk false claims widely disseminated via social.

The reports will include a report from Washington Correspondent Kylie Morris on President Trump's relationship with the media, examining the claims and counter claims regarding fake news and "alternative facts."  Following Channel 4 News’ investigation into the generating of fake news from Macedonia, Paraic O'Brien will reveal the fake news trail that has its origins in Latvia and Estonia.

 Channel 4 News will feature a film about young people in Britain caught up in the movement that's become known as the Alt-right, and how they are influenced by material circulated on the internet and journalist Carole Cadwalladr is authoring a piece about whether enough is being done to stop extreme views and material being disseminated on the internet and will debate this live in the programme.

In addition, the Channel 4 News FactCheck team will host an interactive Q&A on the subject on Facebook Live.

The Fake News Show - Monday 6 February, 8pm

As part of Channel 4's Fake News Week, this brand new comedy panel show peers behind the wobbly façade of fake news, dissects the outlandish headlines, alternative facts, dodgy Photo-shops, and all-too-believable viral clips that have pushed post-truth to the front pages.

At a time when world events are increasingly stranger than fiction, and no one knows who or what to believe, The Fake News Show might just be the only news show you can trust. Or can you? Hosted by Stephen Mangan and with a veritable feast of some of the sharpest and funniest minds around, including Richard Osman, Katherine Ryan, Jon Richardson and Richard Ayoade, this is one night of hilarity not to be missed.

Prod Company: Hat Trick Productions

Series Producer: Mark Barratt

Producer: Ed Ryland

Exec Producers: Richard Wilson, Jimmy Mulville

Confessions of the Paparazzi – Monday 6 February, 9pm

Britain’s ever increasing obsession with celebrity has created a twilight world where nothing is quite as it seems. With huge rewards for the right photo, celebrities and the paparazzi indulge in a bizarre game of hide and seek where the lines between fact and fiction are often blurred. Agreeing to reveal some of the dark arts of this world is one of the paparazzi’s most controversial figures, George Bamby who is aided by his young apprentice photographer Bilko.

For freelance paparazzi photographer George, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. This documentary shows him and his stooge in hot pursuit of Britney Spears, Little Mix, Wayne Rooney, Dawn French, Katie Hopkins and Judge Rinder. George also shares some of his more colourful anecdotes that may help explain why many celebrities view him with such disdain.

 George estimates he sells over 500 photographs a year to news organisations and magazines around the world, but in getting the photos is he staying the right side of the legal line? To get those photos, George has become a master of deception, distraction and disguise entering an area where public interest, morality and privacy laws collide. This is the life of the paparazzi laid bare, in all its shocking, seedy and often hilarious detail. In addition to the 1x60 documentary on Channel 4, a series of new and exclusive shorts will be available on All 4 where George shares some of his most outrageous stories, recounting run-ins with Tom Hardy, Mary Berry and even Princes William and Harry.

Prod co: IWC Media.

Executive Producer: Dom Bowles

Producer/Director: David Hatter

Shooting PD: John Dunford

Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer - Tuesday 7 February, 10pm
Comedian and infamous hoaxer Simon Brodkin made headlines around the world by showering Sepp Blatter in banknotes and storming Kanye West’s stage at Glastonbury. But the methods behind his audacious stunts have always remained secret. Until now.
This documentary gives unrestricted access to Simon as he sets his sights on three of the world’s most notorious figures: Simon Cowell, Sir Philip Green and the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. 
With tension, drama, disguise, false starts, arrests and near misses with the U.S. Secret Service, this unique documentary lifts the lid on the months of meticulous planning and preparation it takes to pull off a successful stunt, and reveals the extraordinary and sometimes dangerous measures Simon takes as he bursts the bubble of some of the world’s richest and most famous people. 

Production Company: Avalon
Executive Producers: Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner
Producer/Director: Paul Young


 Notes to Editors

  • You Gov carried out the survey of 1684 British adults aged over 18 on the 29th and 30th January
  • You Gov Press Contact: chris.curtis@yougov.com