By Lisa Cannon Green
Finally, research has found something on which Democrats and Republicans agree—the government should keep its fingers off fake news.
A majority of Americans would rather accept the risk of fake news online than allow government intervention to stop it, Pew Research found.
About 6 in 10 Democrats and Republicans alike said freedom of information should be protected, even if it means false information can be published.
“Americans fall firmly on the side of protecting freedom,” Pew wrote.
Instead, many Americans believe it’s the job of technology companies to police misinformation online. Fifty-six percent say tech firms should restrict falsehoods online, even if it limits freedom of information.
The political parties are less united on this question, with 60 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans saying tech companies should take action.
Fake news—whether intentionally or inadvertently false—has been a growing concern for Americans in recent years.
In 2016, nearly two-thirds of Americans told Pew fake news has caused them a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current events.
But Americans aren’t fully in agreement on what do to about it, the new Pew research shows.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans 50 and older say tech companies should take action to curb misinformation.
Young adults, however, don’t like the idea of restrictions. Two-thirds of Americans 18 to 29 say information online should be free from government intervention, and 56 percent say technology firms shouldn’t impose restrictions either.
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LISA CANNON GREEN (@lisacgreen) is senior editor of Facts & Trends.