Two-thirds of Kiwis wary of 'fake news'

  • 24/08/2017

"Fake news" is an increasing concern for New Zealanders, with almost two-thirds of people in a survey saying the amount of misleading or wrong information online is an issue.

The figure of 64 percent is a jump of 13 percentage points on 2016, the largest rise among areas of concern in the poll about attitudes to the internet.

InternetNZ, which commissioned the research, says the rise in the global reporting of fake news in the media could be a contributing factor.

Chief executive Jordan Carter says it's good to know New Zealanders are aware that fake news exists.

"There are high volumes of non-factual stories coming from overseas sites so it's pleasing to see people are aware that some sites may be showing false information," he said.

"We all need to take personal responsibility for what we digest and trust online."

The survey of 750 people also showed cyber-bullying remained a major worry, with 74 percent of people expressing concern, up five points.

But InternetNZ, a non-profit organisation which promotes the internet's benefits, said the overwhelming evidence was that people believed the internet brought more good than bad.

Around 94 percent of New Zealanders used the internet at least once a day and 88 percent said its positives outweighed it negatives, with the main benefit being access to information.