ExpressVPN survey: Most Americans distrust voting systems, news and social media

2 min read
Jamie

Jamie is always hungry. He also writes about digital privacy in exchange for sandwiches.

A ballot box covered in the stars and stripes of the U.S.A.

Results from an ExpressVPN survey conducted in October 2018 show that Americans have lost faith in both news media and social media in the run-up to the midterm elections next week.

Controversies from and since the 2016 election cycle appear to have taken a greater toll on social media, however, with three-quarters of respondents saying they trusted The New York Times more than Facebook to be a source of accurate and unbiased information.

Still, faith among all sources is near rock-bottom. Asked whom they trusted most to provide reliable information, only 6% of respondents said social media; 6% said the candidates; and 28% said the news media. Three-fifths of those surveyed said they didn’t trust any of these sources.

Furthermore, 63% of American adults surveyed said they lacked trust in voting systems, and nearly 4 in 10 said they believed that Russia was the country most likely to meddle in the midterms.

In the midst of these concerns, 65% of all respondents said they believed they should have the right to vote on key digital rights issues, including whether the government can regulate the use of personal data collected online and whether it can use surveillance on American citizens.

The survey, conducted through Google Surveys, polled 400 Americans age 18 and older.

Q1: How concerned are you about the security of voting systems during the 2018 midterm elections?

  • 24% are Extremely concerned
  • 16% are Moderately concerned
  • 23% are Slightly concerned
  • 37% are Not at all concerned

Q2: What country do you think is most likely to meddle in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections?

  • 38% think Russia
  • 10% think China
  • 2% think North Korea
  • 19% think United States
  • 2% think France
  • 30% prefer not to say

Q3: Which do you trust more as a source of accurate and unbiased information for the 2018 midterm elections?

  • 28% trust News Media
  • 6% trust Social Media
  • 6% trust Candidates
  • 60% don’t trust any of these sources

Q4: Which do you trust more as a source of accurate and unbiased information for the 2018 midterm elections?

  • 76% trust The New York Times
  • 24% trust Facebook

Q5: Should American citizens have the right to vote whether or not to bring back Net Neutrality?

  • 59% say Yes
  • 10% say No
  • 31% prefer not to say

Q6: Should American citizens have the right to vote whether or not the government can regulate the use of personal data collected online?

  • 71% say Yes
  • 7% say No
  • 23% prefer not to say

Q7: Should American citizens have the right to vote whether or not the government can use surveillance on American citizens?

  • 65% say Yes
  • 16% say No
  • 19% prefer not to say

Q8: Should American citizens have the right to vote whether or not the US government can hack into your mobile device?

  • 65% say Yes
  • 16% say No
  • 19% prefer not to say
Jamie writes about current issues concerning digital privacy and security and is known to interview leading figures in tech. He also keeps an eye on changes in government censorship and surveillance.