For immediate release
13 May 2019
Nanos survey: Voters support fair regulation of Facebook and Netflix
(Ottawa) Foreign online media companies hurt democracy, disseminate inaccurate content, and are not trusted to protect Canadian culture and identity. For these reasons and more, Canadians of all political stripes strongly agree the federal government should require these companies to follow the same laws and rules as their Canadian competitors. These are among the findings of the latest Nanos Research survey commissioned by FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.
- Almost eight-in-ten (79%) think content published by social media platforms like Facebook is less accurate than content published by traditional media.
- Asked whether most people are able to tell the difference between fake news and real journalism on Facebook and other social media platforms, three-quarters disagree (49%) or somewhat disagree (27%).
- Six–in-ten think Canadian democracy is weaker (28%) or somewhat weaker (31%) than it was five years ago, given “the influence of Facebook and other social media platforms on politics and the news we get.”
Canadians also agree that government should hold these companies accountable. A strong majority of respondents agree or somewhat agree that the government should hold social media companies responsible for what they publish.
A strong majority of respondents agree that the government should hold social media companies responsible for what they publish. It may be no coincidence that this view is so widely-held after Facebook livestreamed the mass murder of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand. Footage of the attack was also re-broadcast widely on YouTube – a Google company.
- 84% agree (63%) or somewhat agree (21%) that social media platforms like Facebook should be held responsible when they publish inaccurate, misleading or illegal content, just as traditional media are. Support is highest among Green Party (94%) and undecided (89.2%) voters.
“Canadians don’t trust these companies. Taken together, these results demonstrate a strong appetite for leadership from Ottawa to regulate them and take other measures to strengthen our democracy,” said Daniel Bernhard Executive Director of the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
A majority of respondents believe that increasing CBC funding would strengthen democracy, and most respondents would advise their MP to vote to increase or maintain funding to the CBC. Given the broadly shared opinion that social media companies like Facebook are undermining Canadian democracy, a majority agree that increased CBC funding would strengthen Canadian democracy.
- 56% agree (27%) or somewhat agree (29%) that increased CBC funding would strengthen Canadian democracy. NDP voters (83.8%), Liberal voters (73.2%) and Green voters (66.3%) are more likely to agree/somewhat agree. Conservative voters (27%) are less likely to agree/somewhat agree.
- Nearly eight-in-ten respondents (79%) would advise their MP to vote in favour of increasing (46%) or maintaining (33%) CBC’s budget. 17% would advise a decrease in CBC funding. More than half of Conservative Party supporters would advise their MP to increase (18%) or maintain (36%) CBC funding. 44% would advise a decrease in CBC funding.
A strong majority of respondents believes the decline in print media is cause for a stronger and more independent CBC.
- 84% think it is more important (60%) or as important (24%) to have a strong andindependent CBC given that 250 newspapers have closed in Canada during the last 10 years.
Netflix is now Canada’s biggest private broadcaster, counting more than 60% of households as subscribers. But respondents do not trust Netflix to protect Canadian culture and identity on screen. They do, however, trust CBC to do so – by an overwhelming margin.
- 77% have high trust and confidence in CBC/Radio-Canada to protect Canadian culture and identity on television. 22% say the same about Netflix. Trust in Netflix to protect Canadian culture is lower than the cable companies (23%) or conventional private broadcasters (25%).
- Eight-in-ten agree (49%) or somewhat agree (31%) the CBC plays an important role in strengthening Canadian culture and identity. More than half of Conservative voters agree (21%) or somewhat agree (34%).
“These results indicate that Canadians strongly favour a change in government policy that would subject foreign internet broadcasters to the same rules as Canadian broadcasters,” Bernhard said.
- 77% agree (52%) or somewhat agree (25%) that foreign companies that broadcast TV programs into Canada over the internet should be subject to the same rules as Canadian companies that broadcast by cable, satellite or over the air.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between April 16th and 21st, 2019. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and 2
administered a survey online. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting works to keep Canada’s voice strong on the air andonline and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.
For further information: Jim Thompson - [email protected] - 613-447-9592