Distribution of traffic sources for fake news in the United States in 2017
Fake news traffic sources in the U.S. 2017
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main traffic source for false information online is social media, which generates 42 percent of fake news traffic. The nature of social networks, most notably the ease of sharing content, allows fake news to spread at a rapid rate – an issue further exacerbated by the fact that many U.S. adults sometimes believe fake news to be real.

Fake news: an ongoing problem

The presence of fake news would be less of an issue if users were more aware of how to identify it and were aware of the risks of sharing such content. Many U.S. news consumers have shared fake news online, and worryingly, ten percent did so deliberately. Adults who are part of that ten percent are just a small portion of people in the United States, and elsewhere in the world, who are responsible for spreading false information. More than 30 percent of U.S. children and teenagers have shared a fake news story online, and over 50 percent of adults in selected countries worldwide have wrongly believed a fake news story.

The result of adults and young consumers alike not only believing fake news, but actively sharing it, is that small, illegitimate websites producing such content are able to grow more successful. Such websites have the potential to tarnish or seriously damage the reputation of any persons mentioned within a fake news article, promote events or policies which do not exist, and mislead readers about important topics they are trying to keep up with. A 2019 survey revealed that most adults believe that fake news and misinformation will get worse in the next five years, and the sad truth is that this will likely be the case unless news consumers grow more discerning about what they post and share online.
Distribution of traffic sources for fake news in the United States in 2017
Share of traffic
Social42%
Direct30%
Search23%
Referral5%
Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Sources

Release date

February 2017

Region

United States

Survey time period

as of February 2017

Fake news traffic sources in the U.S. 2017
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main traffic source for false information online is social media, which generates 42 percent of fake news traffic. The nature of social networks, most notably the ease of sharing content, allows fake news to spread at a rapid rate – an issue further exacerbated by the fact that many U.S. adults sometimes believe fake news to be real.

Fake news: an ongoing problem

The presence of fake news would be less of an issue if users were more aware of how to identify it and were aware of the risks of sharing such content. Many U.S. news consumers have shared fake news online, and worryingly, ten percent did so deliberately. Adults who are part of that ten percent are just a small portion of people in the United States, and elsewhere in the world, who are responsible for spreading false information. More than 30 percent of U.S. children and teenagers have shared a fake news story online, and over 50 percent of adults in selected countries worldwide have wrongly believed a fake news story.

The result of adults and young consumers alike not only believing fake news, but actively sharing it, is that small, illegitimate websites producing such content are able to grow more successful. Such websites have the potential to tarnish or seriously damage the reputation of any persons mentioned within a fake news article, promote events or policies which do not exist, and mislead readers about important topics they are trying to keep up with. A 2019 survey revealed that most adults believe that fake news and misinformation will get worse in the next five years, and the sad truth is that this will likely be the case unless news consumers grow more discerning about what they post and share online.
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Statistics on "Media and politics in the United States"
  • News sources
  • Donald Trump
  • Fake news
  • Trust
  • Perspectives on the media
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.