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Poll: 87% of people in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy want Facebook to "Correct the Record" to fight fake news


**Avaaz launches massive anti-disinformation operation ahead of EU elections**

On average, 87% of citizens in Germany, France, Spain and Italy want social media platforms to work with fact-checkers to issue corrections to anyone exposed to false or misleading content, according to a new poll. The Yougov survey, commissioned by the global citizens' movement Avaaz, also shows that more than 3 in 4 people believe social media platforms should be regulated.
 
The key results:
  • Between 81% and 92% in each country agree that companies like Facebook should work with independent fact-checkers to offer verified corrections to everyone exposed to false or misleading content
  • 78% or more in each country say that this measure would improve their image of social media companies
  • 73% or more in each country are worried about the threat fake news poses to the EU elections this May
  • 76% or more in each country think social media platforms should be regulated in order to protect our societies from manipulation, fake news and data misuse 
Christoph Schott, Campaign Director at Avaaz, said:“Fake news is burning like wildfire through our democracies - and it’s now on Facebook and Co to bring out the fire trucks. With EU elections approaching, 87% of Europeans want a clear solution: Share independent fact-checker corrections with everyone exposed to fake news.”
 
“Correcting the record is a no brainer. It doesn’t harm freedom of speech, it doesn’t take down content, and it doesn’t turn facebook or governments into a ministry of truth. It just allows independent third-party fact checkers to give facts a fighting chance,” he added.

Last week, Avaaz launched a European team of investigative reporters, researchers and data analysts who will be monitoring disinformation operations across Europe in the lead-up to the elections and investigating disinformation online. The team will be focused on identifying fake news before it catches fire, rooting out the networks driving it, and working with platforms and governments to remove or correct harmful content and hold perpetrators accountable. Its aim is to debunk and expose the flood of fake news stories and networks ahead the European elections.

Ex-NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned just days ago that Russia could launch a major effort to meddle in European election, adding that some European national governments were ill-equipped to counter those efforts.

The yellow vests movement has been flooded with fake news reaching tens of millions of Facebook users, including images of bleeding protesters, which had actually been taken in Madrid years earlier. Other recent fake news stories include a fake letter from a German school announcing an Islam awareness week and asking parents not to include pork in their children’s meals during a planned visit by four imams.
 
Avaaz has made the fight against disinformation a major focus in light of the threat it poses to healthy democracies. More than 1 million people joined a global open letter to Mark Zuckerberg and governments to protect democracies from fake news. Hundreds of thousands joined a call on social media platforms to issue corrections to disinformation.
 
Find more detailed poll results below. Full poll results and methodology are available upon request.
 
Notes to editor:
 
Contact
  • Julie Deruy on julie@avaaz.org / +33676477259
  • Andrew Legon on andrew.legon@avaaz.org / +447429865292
Topline results:
 
Question One: Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter should work with independent and trusted fact checking organisations to provide all users who have been exposed to wide-spread false or misleading content with verified corrections.
  • Spain - 92% agree and 8% disagree
  • Italy - 92% agree and 8% disagree 
  • France - 87% agree and 13% disagree 
  • Germany - 81% agree and 19% disagree 
  • Weighted Average across countries:  87%
 
Question Two: It would improve my image of social media platforms if they would proactively work with independent and trusted fact-checkers to offer their users corrections to wide-spreading false or misleading content.
  • Spain - 92% agree and 8% disagree 
  • Italy - 91% agree and 9% disagree 
  • France - 81% agree and 19% disagree 
  • Germany - 78% agree and 22% disagree 
  • Weighted Average across countries: 84%
Question Three: Fake news and politically motivated disinformation pose a threat to the European elections in May this year.
  • Spain - 89% agree and 11% disagree 
  • Italy - 80% agree and 20% disagree 
  • France - 74% agree and 26% disagree 
  • Germany - 73% agree and 27% disagree 
  • Weighted Average across countries: 78%
Question Four: Social media platforms should be regulated in order to protect our societies from manipulation, fake news and data misuse. 
  • Spain - 92% agree and 8% disagree 
  • Italy - 92% agree and 8% disagree 
  • France - 88% agree and 12% disagree 
  • Germany - 76% agree and 24% disagree 
  • Weighted Average across countries: 85%