Six out of Ten Have Encountered Misleading Information on the Internet

In the past three months, 60% of Swedes (5 million individuals) aged 16–85 have encountered misleading internet content, according to a recent survey by Statistics Sweden. Notably, 58% of women and 62% of men reported exposure to false or questionable information.

The study highlights a growing need for digital literacy, with 35% of those encountering misinformation attempting to fact-check online. Men (39%) are more likely than women (31%) to verify dubious information.

Digital skills vary, with 64% using word processing programs. Men tend to outpace women in tasks like downloading software (65% vs. 57%) and file manipulation (61% vs. 55%). Notably, 25% of men use advanced features in spreadsheet programs, compared to 12% of women.

Online threats are prevalent, with 40% witnessing threatening or demeaning posts in the last three months. Political opinions (30%), foreign background or ethnicity (30%), and gender (17%) were common targets.

Additional findings indicate widespread internet usage (96%) among those aged 16–85, with 78% engaging in e-commerce. Notably, 36% adjusted browser settings to limit cookies.

The results underscore the importance of addressing misinformation, enhancing digital literacy, and fostering a safer online environment.