Almost Everyone Doesn’t Trust the Internet

And yes, we realize the overwhelming irony contained within.

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We know you won’t believe us when we say this, but: 98% of people distrust the Internet. It’s true, according to a study conducted by market-research firm Harris Interactive: nearly all of us find a reason to discredit the information we read online.

According to Mashable, the firm surveyed 1,900 Americans, yielding the overwhelming statistic that we have little trust in the information we find online. Ninety-four percent of those were worried about so-called “bad things,” such as wasting their time or even getting a computer virus. Losing money and being a victim of fraud online was a key concern for about half of those respondents.

Meanwhile, about 56% of those distrusting surfers feared that information online was outdated, while 53% felt of material was self-promotional. Sure, it’s the classic salesman trick: Can you really trust product advice from a person who gets paid if you buy it from them? Forty-five percent felt unfamiliar with the sources and forums that they were browsing. A common complaint was that most respondents felt that, in general, they felt they were bombarded by too many ads online, contributing to their overall dissatisfaction.

The survey was commissioned by business-answers community Mancx, which clearly has a stake in providing trustworthy information. That old adage cautions us not to believe everything we read online — and it appears we’re pros at that. We just hope you believe this article.

Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

9 comments
jpnunn49
jpnunn49

the government is scary.. I just want to be left alone and live in peace..   If I have an opinion, I want it to to a simple thought.. but I guess we don't get to do that any longer.. 

jpnunn49
jpnunn49

can I post this? or do I have to disclose my identity?   I tried, but I have to log in with website?   thank you Mr. Snowden.. 

infonomics
infonomics

Obvious scare tactic to  salvage the former status quo.  Too late.

avik
avik

Then who do we trust??  The TV and the print media which are funded by the large corporations aiming to filter out content to suit their reputation? Everything is sold out! May be the survey mentioned above in the article was funded by corporations whose reputation was dented by stuff posted on the internet. Who knows??

mannewskie
mannewskie

Comment threads are probably the biggest waste of time on the internet. Full of uninformed but highly opinionated partisans who hack each other mercilessly.

Fernan
Fernan

this news is published in the internet. 98% of the population seems this not legit news.

Travis Russell
Travis Russell

Seriously!! Like the real information is contained in mainstream media and soundbites.  The real problem is that people are either lazy, stupid, or both. Use your brains to sift through the BS. It is everywhere. At least on the internet, there is a chance for muffled voices of truth to shed the light. 

George Parigian Jr.
George Parigian Jr.

So Time magazine tells us that we don't trust the Internet.......well I for one don't believe it because.......it's posted on the Internet!