Download the Full Report (PDF): 2022 Disinformation in Canada Report (PDF)
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Download Press Release: 2022 Canadian Disinformation Study Press Release
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This report investigates how disinformation — defined as deliberately misleading or biased information — is spread in Canada and includes some comparisons to the U.S. It also explores the perceived breadth of reach and impact of disinformation on trust in society. The survey is based on the annual Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Disinformation in Society report conducted in the U.S. Based on the IPR study and this study, disinformation is increasingly a major problem in both countries. Therefore, understanding the power, perception, and factors that influence of disinformation in Canada is important.
Some Key Findings:
- Disinformation is seen as a major problem more often in the U.S.
Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe disinformation is a major problem in the U.S. compared to only slightly more than half (51%) of Canadians.
- Both Canadians and Americans believe disinformation has a negative impact on society.
Both Canadians and Americans said that disinformation is a threat to democracy (72% vs. 75%, respectively) and undermines election processes (71% vs. 73%, respectively), but Americans (63%) were more likely than Canadians (56%) to believe that disinformation infringes on human rights.
- Canadian news outlets are more trusted than American ones.
While both countries identified local broadcast news and their local newspaper as two of the most trustworthy sources, Canadian rated their local broadcast news (72% vs. 64%, respectively) and local newspapers (67% vs. 63%, respectively) higher than Americans.
- Canadians had several trustworthy media sources, while the U.S. did not.
Canadian broadcaster CBC is ranked highly by 68% of Canadians in terms of trustworthiness and is a source that combats disinformation well. On the other hand, the highest-rated media source in the U.S. was ABC News at 54%. Most news sources in the U.S. saw significant differences in the perception of trustworthiness based on political affiliation, meaning when Democrats rated a news source high in trustworthiness, Republicans rated it significantly lower.
- A significant gap exists between the sources which should be responsible for combatting disinformation versus how well they are actually combatting it.
With nearly all sources, those that were deemed to be most responsible for combatting disinformation were not rated as highly in how well they were combatting it in both Canada and the U.S. For example, in Canada, more than 8-out-of-10 said their provincial government (83%) and journalists (83%) should be responsible for combatting disinformation, while fewer than 4-out-of-10 said their provincial government (38%) and journalists (36%) said were combatting it at least “somewhat well.” Similar gaps were found in the U.S.
About the Institute for Public Relations
Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use. IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession and amplifies and engages the profession globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at www.instituteforpr.org and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.