Across the world, the figure was 86 per cent. Canadian participants identified Facebook as the most common source of fake news, defined as fully or partially false information. Though 89 per cent of Canadian respondents said social media was “a source of their distrust,” they would prefer that platforms regulate themselves—such as by removing posts and accounts—rather than having governments censor online content. The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and polling firm Ipsos surveyed 25,229 internet users from 25 economies. (CBC)
Talking point: Canada hasn’t made many concrete moves to regulate fake news specifically, although the federal government allocated $7 million in January to fight disinformation and misinformation through public-awareness campaigns and digital-literacy programs. Senior officials have publicly echoed the survey respondents’ concerns over government intervention. In May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said regulating the tech giants could suppress free speech, and that his government would only impose rules as a last resort if the firms don’t act themselves. Trudeau and his cabinet have been calling for self-regulation for years. But, while Big Tech companies told elected officials from 12 countries at a hearing two days before Trudeau’s remarks that they welcomed new rules, they declined to commit to specific self-policing. For example, Facebook would not promise to take down false content—including doctored videos—from its platform during the federal election, scheduled for October.