NASK research: more than half of Poles encounter manipulation and disinformation on the Internet

May 9, 2019 | General
Over half of Polish Internet users admit that in recent months they have encountered manipulation or disinformation, and 35% Poles with falsified information in the network meet once a week or more often. At the same time as much as 19 percent directly claims that it does not check the credibility of internet information or its sources - according to new research, conducted by NASK's Social Research Laboratory.

Researchers asked Poles about their opinions and observations regarding disinformation activities in the network. The results show that untrue or manipulated information is common. 8.3 percent contact them every day. 15.6 percent, once a week – 11.1 percent. Only 2.3 percent. respondents chose the answer “never”.

ABTShield has participated in the presentation of the report and actively contributed to the discussion with Marek Zagórski, Minister of Digitalization and Krzysztof Silicki, Director of NASK. Our own research published earlier this year confirmed similar trends and gave reasons to initiate Diagnosing the Internet campaign.

The most common type of disinformation Poles face is fake news (29.9 percent). Respondents also mention trolling (15.6 percent), actions by false accounts, e.g. on social networks (14.9 percent) and manipulated photos (8.3 percent). Among the places where manipulation and disinformation occurs, information portals are most frequently mentioned (indicated by 46.1% of respondents), political parties on facebook (39.5%) and discussion forums (35.6%). Disinformation activities, according to Poles, are most often taken by politicians – 49.2% think so. respondents. In whom, according to the respondents, manipulations are aimed at? The most frequently targeted victim is the Polish government (41.5%). Subsequently, the respondents mention opposition parties (36.5%), the system of education and teachers (31.1%).

Disinformation and manipulation of public opinion are phenomena considered as one of the most serious challenges of the modern Internet. 
The results we obtained indicate that the majority of Poles see this problem. 
Unfortunately, a significant proportion of respondents admit that they do not verify the accuracy of information on the Internet, “says Dr. Rafał Lange, Head of the Social Research Laboratory at NASK. 
On the question whether in recent months they met with false or manipulated information, 32.8 percent.
the respondents gave the answer “hard to say. 
When asked “how often?”, The answer “hard to say” was indicated by the largest percentage of respondents – 27.4 percent. 
When asked about checking the accuracy of information, their sources, the authenticity of the profile or credibility of people, as much as 19.1 percent acknowledges that verification does not.

The survey was conducted on a representative sample of 1000 adult Internet users in Poland. The report with the full results of the survey is available on the website of NASK’s National Research Institute.