In partnership with the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and McMaster University, Leger conducted a national survey of more than 2,000 Canadians to explore their perspectives on disinformation in Canada.
The findings reveal how disinformation is spread in Canada (with some comparisons to the U.S.), the power and perceptions of disinformation, including its impact on trust in society and who should be responsible for combatting it. It is based on the annual Institute for Public Relations Disinformation in Society report conducted in the United States.
SOME OF THE KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR SURVEY ON DISINFORMATION IN CANADA INCLUDE…
- Four-in-five Canadians feel that misinformation and disinformation in Canada are problems.
- More than two-thirds believe that disinformation threatens Canadian democracy (72%), election processes (71%) and furthers the polarization of political parties (69%).
- The Russian and Chinese governments are seen as the lead instigators of disinformation, with at least two-thirds of Canadians believing that they actively spread disinformation.
- Canadian broadcast news outlets are well-trusted, but journalists are slightly less so, indicating a slight disconnection of trust between media outlets and the individuals who prepare their news.
- Disinformation is negatively impacting Canadians’ consumption of news, pushing some to seek news elsewhere. One-in-seven (16%) are more likely to read news from non-Canadian sources because of perceived disinformation in Canadian media.
“Compared to the IPR study in the U.S., disinformation is seen as a significantly larger problem in Canada,” said Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR, president and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations. “Also, the U.S. sees wider gaps in the trustworthiness of mainstream media sources than Canada. The U.S. does not have a single mainstream media source that political parties agree upon like Canada does even though local broadcast and print news are trusted in both countries.”
- An online survey of 2,003 Canadians was conducted from May 12 to 22, 2022, using LEO, Leger’s online panel.
- A margin of error cannot be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e., a web panel in this case). For comparison purposes, a probability sample of 2,003 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20.