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Meanwhile, about 56% of those distrusting surfers feared that information online was outdated, while 53% felt of material was self-promotional.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.