People are more worried about the amount of coronavirus misinformation others are exposed to than themselves, a survey suggests.
Six in 10 Britons (60%) told Ofcom they are concerned about the potentially harmful information others may see online related to the virus, compared with just over a third of respondents (36%) who were concerned about their own consumption of such fake news.
It comes as 29% of respondents revealed they have come across false or misleading information about Covid-19 in the last week, down from a peak of 50% during the third and fifth week of lockdown.
Those who come across fake news did so fairly frequently, with more than six in 10 (62%) saying they had seen some at least once a day and one quarter (25%) a few times a week.
The regulator – which has spoken to 2,000 adults every week since lockdown was announced – found that claims linking 5G to the virus remain the most commonly seen piece of misinformation, although their prevalence has decreased over time.
Conspiracy theories about 5G have been a particular problem in the UK during the crisis, with dozens of mobile masts across the country subjected to attacks.
Elsewhere, consumption of news about coronavirus remains strong but has dropped off from 99% at the start of lockdown to 85%.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?