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July 19, 2012

Ninety-Eight Percent of Americans Distrust Information On The Internet, New Mancx Survey Finds: Nearly Everyone Says There Are Things That Cause Them To Distrust Info Found On the Web — and 94% Say Bad Things Can Happen From Acting On Inaccurate Web Info

Business solutions community Mancx this week announced the findings of its online survey of over 1,900 American adults who look for answers online conducted by Harris Interactive in late June 2012. The survey, which was drafted based on Mancx's experience in the global knowledge market, found that nearly every online American adult (98%) who looks for information online finds reasons to distrust the information they find, including: Too many ads (59%); outdated information (56%); information is self-promotional (53%); and unfamiliar forums (45%). With these numbers, it's not a surprise that people say their satisfaction could be improved. In fact, 93% of those who look for information online say they could be more satisfied with the information they find online, and trust is a major factor. To back this up, nearly three in five people said it would be an improvement if the answers they found could be trusted and 54% say it would be an improvement if the answers always came from trusted sources. Online searchers also said they would like improvements in answers always being up-to-date (53%) and less time wasted searching (32%). "These findings demonstrate that people want online information to be more credible than it is today, and that current web services just don't cut it," said Mattias Guilotte, Mancx CMO and co-founder, in a news release. "Mancx offers a solution by giving people a new way to find the answers they need by matching questions with a trusted source, and allows them to exchange answers and money in a trusted environment."

In addition to trust, American adults who look for information online are also concerned about what this means for their daily lives. 94% say they believe bad things could happen to them as a result of acting on inaccurate online information. Those bad consequences include waste of time (67%), followed by:

  • Get a computer virus – 63%
  • Lose money – 51%
  • Risk of fraud – 51%
  • Damage my credibility – 36%

Other consequences include:

  • Get Fired – 14%
  • Loss of Spouse/Relationship – 9%

When asked what people would be willing to do if it meant they could always find the information they were looking for online, 2% of American adults who look for information online even admitted they would be willing to give up their spouse, with men statistically more likely to say this than women.

When the accuracy of online information isn't causing concern for Americans, the lack of any information related to their search is. The so-called "offline problem" is still an issue — not all information sources have been uploaded, and consumers are noticing. 84% of American adults who look for information online report that there are times when the information they are searching for online is not available online.

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