Though they sense these stories are spreading confusion, Americans express a fair amount of confidence in their own ability to detect fake news, with about four-in-ten (39%) feeling very confident that they can recognize news that is fabricated and another 45% feeling somewhat confident. Overall, about a third (32%) of Americans say they often see political news stories online that are made up. While it is difficult to measure the precise extent to which people actually see news that has been completely fabricated – given that news consumers could see but not recognize made-up news stories as well as mistake factual stories for false ones — these figures provide a high-level sense of the public’s perception of this kind of content.
And some Americans say they themselves have shared fake news. Overall, 23% say they have ever shared a made-up news story, with 14% saying they shared a story they knew was fake at the time and 16% having shared a story they later realized was fake.