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Media Alert: Adobe Study Reveals High Concern Over Misinformation and Potential to Impact Elections

Thursday, April 18, 2024 03:00 AM
  • New Adobe study across U.S., U.K., France and Germany finds that people believe misinformation and harmful deepfakes will influence future elections.
  • Respondents express concern regarding potential manipulation of content they consume online.
  • People believe it is essential that they have the tools to verify the trustworthiness of online content.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apr. 18, 2024 Today, Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) released findings of its inaugural Future of Trust Study, which surveyed over 6,000 consumers across the U.S., U.K., France and Germany about their experience encountering misinformation online and concerns about the impact of generative AI. Tied to its work on Responsible Innovation, Adobe commissioned the study to understand public perceptions and sentiment about the societal impact of generative AI and misinformation, including its implications within the context of global elections this year. Among the findings, the study highlights strong desire from consumers to have tools to verify the trustworthiness of digital content and the urgent need for proactive measures to address misinformation’s potential impact on election integrity globally.

“We are all excited about the power of generative AI to transform creativity and productivity,” said Dana Rao, executive vice president, General Counsel and Chief Trust Officer, Adobe. “As a leader in commercially deploying AI technology, we have long considered its implication in society. As the results of this study clearly show, it is critical that we educate consumers about the dangers of deepfakes and provide them with tools to understand what is true. With elections coming, now is the time to adopt protective technologies like Content Credentials to help restore trust in the digital content we are consuming."

Key findings of the study include:

Misinformation is regarded as one of the biggest threats facing society - a concern that may be eroding trust in certain platforms where misinformation is spread.

  • With misinformation becoming more prevalent, the study shows that most respondents (84% U.S., 85% U.K., 84% France, 80% Germany) express concern that the content they consume online is vulnerable to being altered to fuel misinformation.
  • A significant number of consumers (70% U.S., 76% U.K., 73% France, 70% Germany) said that it is becoming difficult to verify whether the content they are consuming online is trustworthy.
  • Concerns about misinformation are also impacting consumer’s use of social media platforms with some respondents (39% U.S., 29% U.K., 37% France, 24% Germany) saying that they have stopped or curtailed their use of a specific social media platform due to the amount of misinformation on it.

Amidst a climate of eroding trust in digital content, consumers are concerned about protecting election integrity.

  • In a year when over four billion people globally are expected to head to the polls, the study found that a significant number of people (80% U.S., 78% U.K., 67% France, 70% Germany) believe that misinformation and harmful deepfakes will impact future elections.
  • Without widespread tools to help them decide whether the online content they are consuming is true, a significant number of people (78% U.S., 83% U.K., 78% France, 72% Germany) believe that election candidates should be prohibited from using generative AI in their promotional content.
  • Most consumers (83% U.S., 88% U.K., 84% France, 79% Germany) believe that governments and technology companies should work together to protect election integrity against the detrimental effects of deepfakes and misinformation.

Most people consider the credibility of a source before sharing content but believe that having the tools and media literacy skills to verify whether a content is true is important.

  • Most people (88% U.S., 88% U.K., 85% France, 79% Germany) believe that it is essential that they have the right tools to verify if online content is trustworthy.
  • In addition, high percentage of respondents (76% U.S., 82% U.K., 77% France, 74% Germany) agree that it is important to know if the content they are consuming is generated using AI.
  • Concerns regarding misinformation are impacting how people think about its potential effect on children, with most consumers (84% U.S., 89% U.K., 83% France, 81% Germany) saying that children should be taught media literacy skills as part of their school curriculum. 

See here for a comprehensive analysis of study data broken down by region: U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.

Methodology

Adobe collaborated with Advanis to collect 2,012 responses from U.S., 2,002 responses from U.K., 1,043 responses from France and 1,020 responses from Germany; all survey respondents were 18 and older. Data was collected from an opt-in non-probability sample provider in March.

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