A Study on the Factors Affecting People’s Attitudes towards the Government’s Regulation of Fake News





Published date: 

December, 2021


Jia-Wei Liu


Since the 2016 US presidential election, fake news has become a topic, and a consensus on the urgency of cracking down on such news has now been reached. In this age of fake news, do people consider that fake news should be regulated? This study found that 85% of people agreed with the government’s regulation of fake news. Among them, the Third-person effect obviously affected the public’s belief that fake news needs to be regulated, by which was meant that the spread of fake news would affect the judgment of “other” citizens on public affairs. For this reason, people hoped that the government would regulate the fake news, but considered that the spread of fake news would affect “self” judgments on public affairs and would not support the regulation of fake news. This was a typical Third-person effect.

However, should the government regulate fake news? From this study, it was found that party identification is an important factor that affects people’s perceptions in terms of the regulation of fake news. Therefore, the government’s regulation of fake news is still political and not a purely third-person effect. The results showed that 76% of people believed that “In order to avoid liability, the government will treat the news that is bad for the government as false news.” It is thus recommended that the government respond cautiously, and if the government does regulate fake news, the degree of regulation should also be considered. It is not appropriate to violate freedom of speech.