A large number of Indians, more than double of the global average, believe there is less lying in politics than in the past, according to a new survey released here on Thursday. In contrast with the global trend across 27 countries polled by Ipsos MORI for its Fake news, filter bubbles, post-truth and trust’ study, India emerged at a robust 22 per cent believing that the average person can expect politicians to tell the truth more, compared to a global average of just 10 per cent.
Britain at 4 per cent was the least trusting of its politicians, alongside Sweden, Hungary and Spain.
Over 19,000 people in 27 countries participated in the survey.
“And 57 per cent think there is more lying in politics and the media than there was 30 years ago, up to 71 per cent in South Africa, 69 per cent in the US and 68 per cent in Sweden. This is not the view of everyone, with 11 per cent thinking there is less lying, up to 22 per cent in India,” Ipsos Mori said in a statement.
Among its overall findings around fake news, the survey found that Indians were fairly confident, at 77 per cent, that they can distinguish between real and fake news.
Brazil had the highest level of susceptibility to fake news, with 62 per cent of respondents from the country saying they had believed a fake news story, with Saudi Arabia not far behind.
India came in at 55 per cent on the fake news gullibility charts, with Britain scoring high at just 33 per cent of respondents admitting to have fallen prey to fake news.
The survey, released to mark the launch of Ipsos MORI managing director Bobby Duffy’s book The Perils of Perception, also found that a large number of Indians (74 per cent) believe that people tend to live in their own filter bubbles online, interacting with only like-minded people.
The survey notes: “Around 65 per cent of people across 27 countries believe that the average person in the country lives in a bubble on the internet, only connecting with people like themselves and looking for opinions they already agree with.
“This varies significantly between countries. The US has the highest level of agreement: 77 per cent of Americans believe that others live in a bubble; 74 per cent in India; 72 per cent in Malaysia; and 71 per cent in Sweden. At other end of scale, only 44 per cent agree with this in Japan.”
Indian respondents (75 per cent) also emerged as particularly confident that they are better informed than their average citizen, in line with Turkey at 76 per cent.
“The challenges to our reality-based view of the world are real and pressing, as some of the findings from our study show, with the majority of people saying they’ve seen fake news, and half saying they’ve believed it at least for a while,” said Duffy.
“There is, however, some hope from the survey. Many have spotted that fake news is being used as a term to attack real facts. And more importantly, we recognise that it’s not all downhill on political knowledge, with more thinking the public’s knowledge is increasing than decreasing in most countries,” he said.