Growing concern about misinformation

New survey shows 80% of Norwegians concerned about media reliability and trust in society

media misinformation

Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB
Director of the Norwegian Media Authority, Mari Velsand, believes it is important for Norway to increase efforts to combat false information

NTB

According to a new survey from the Norwegian Media Authority, eight out of 10 Norwegians are concerned about the spread of false information and the impact this can have on trust in politicians and each other.

“The results of the survey underpin the need for increased efforts to combat disinformation and strengthen the digital resilience of society,” says Mari Velsand, director of the Norwegian Media Authority, in a press release.

Lower trust in social media

In the survey, seven out of 10 stated that they have seen news stories they suspect are untrue during the last six months.

“The numbers show that we have  media users in Norway on alert, users who are aware that not everything that is disseminated on the internet is reliable information,” said Velsand.

They found most of the issues are seen in social media; four out of five stated this.

Only one in five claimed to have seen this in editor-controlled media. Many of the respondents answered that they consider editor-controlled media to be more credible than social media.

“It is positive that so many people see the value of editor-controlled media and the role these media play as credible news providers,” says Velsand.

Young men most discerning

In the survey, the respondents’ ability to identify whether images were created with artificial intelligence was also tested. Only 13% the respondents thought this was easy to assess.

In the survey, it emerged that young men ages 16–24 were the group that seemed to find it easiest to identify false information on the internet. Thirty-five percent of them answered that they could easily assess whether information on the internet is true or not, compared to 13% of the population otherwise.

See also the transcript of Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall’s keynote at address at 2024 Syttende Mai Minnesota banquet, “The importance of the free press in our democratic society” in the June 2024 edition of The Norwegian American.

This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway