Social media skepticism helping fuel distrust of the internet, survey finds

A new global survey suggests distrust of the internet is being fuelled by growing skepticism of social-media services like Facebook and Twitter.

One in four people who took part in the survey said they didn't trust the internet, a view increasingly being driven by lack of confidence in social media, governments and search engines.

The opinion research involved more than 25,000 internet users in 25 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

It was conducted by pollster Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., in partnership with the Internet Society and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The survey report says growing distrust in the internet prompted people to disclose less information in cyberspace, use the internet more selectively and buy fewer things online.

The results come amid widespread concern about fake news online and the duplicitous use of social media to influence democratic processes, including elections.