The Strategist

Edelman Trust Barometer: People don't trust social media anymore

01/23/2018 - 12:35

The American company Edelman has published its annual analytical report Edelman Trust Barometer 2018, which assesses the level of citizens' trust in various institutions. According to the research, seven out of ten citizens do not trust social networks and are afraid of fake news. At the same time, the level of trust in traditional journalism has increased to a record 59%. Another important observation is a sharp drop in confidence in the US in all political institutions, especially in the government, after the election of President Donald Trump.

The latest report of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018, reflecting the level of citizens' trust in social institutions, says that the level of confidence in social networks has dropped dramatically - seven out of ten respondents fear fake news, while confidence in traditional journalism has grown to a record 59- percentage level. In general, the confidence in the media, as well as a year earlier, is 43%.
"In a world where facts are threatened, proven sources are becoming more important than ever before. There is a problem of trust both in platforms and in sources, people's confidence in them is crumbling, leaving a vacuum and the opportunity for bona fide experts to fill it," said Edelman's head of reputation issues Steven Kehoe.

The level of trust to non-governmental organizations in the world as a whole is 53%, to business - 52%, to governments - 43%, and trust to institutions averaged 48% against 47% a year earlier. This year, the Edelman Trust Barometer was published for the eighteenth time. The survey, which lays a basis for the study prepared, includes opinions of more than 33 thousand people from 28 countries of the world, including Russia, USA, Great Britain, China, India, Germany, France. Analysts at Edelman assess the credibility of various institutions among citizens in general and among "informed" citizens (with a higher education and a fairly high income level, who follow the news).

While the average level of trust of residents of different countries to the government, business, non-governmental organizations and the media remained at the level of the previous year or changed by several percentage points, some countries showed more significant changes. In the United States, the level of citizens' trust in institutions dropped by 9 percentage points, to 43 percent. Particularly, confidence in the government dropped by 14 percentage points, to 33 percent, in general, and by 30 percentage points, to 33 percent, for "informed" citizens. "The US is undergoing an unprecedented crisis of confidence. This is the first time that such a large-scale drop is not related to pressing economic problems or catastrophes, such as an accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant," said the company's head Richard Edelman. On the other hand, the level of trust in institutions in China has increased by seven pp, to a record 74%.


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