Fake news considered a major problem by 83% of Belgians

Fake news considered a major problem by 83% of Belgians
© Belga

More than four in five Belgians (83%) consider fake news a “major problem,” according to a survey published Friday by Deloitte on our digital habits and consumption.

However, just over half of respondents (52%) admit to having difficulty in distinguishing the real from the fake, Belga News Agency reports.

The survey found that the pandemic and the flood of controversial information surrounding it have been a catalyst for change in how we consume news and the need for reliable information. “News consumption has changed during the pandemic. There is a real need for qualitative and newsworthy information,” explained Vincent Debusschere, Media Partner at Deloitte Belgium.

Key findings

  • 14% of respondents pay for an information service
  • 56% consider the information on social networks to be unreliable
  • 39% rely on television as their preferred news source
  • 25% rely on news websites and the written press
  • 57% consider traditional media more trustworthy

However, researchers highlight the significant difference between age groups: 70% of 65-75 year-olds consider traditional news sources trustworthy; this drops to only 53% among 18-24 year-olds.

“We see that some of the trends that emerged during the lockdown have become stronger and have clearly become part of our digital behaviour for good. At the same time, our digital awareness is growing,” commented Vincent Fosty, head of the Media and Technology sector at Deloitte Belgium.

Another finding was that Belgian consumers are increasingly aware of the monetary value of data, but still don’t pay for news. The pandemic also saw a 13% increase in Belgians watching streaming video content via paid subscriptions (53% of those surveyed).

Deloitte’s Digital Consumer Trends is an international survey of users of digital services around the world. 2,000 consumers aged between 18 and 75 were surveyed in Belgium.

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