Two-in-Five Canadian Social Media Users Are Finding “Fake News”

About three-in-ten have been exposed to racist content on their social media feeds.

Vancouver, BC [October 16, 2019] – A sizeable proportion of social media users in Canada say they have seen “fake news” in their feeds, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of social media users, 41% of respondents say they found links to stories on current affairs that were obviously false.

“Almost half of Canadian social media users aged 18-to-34 (48%) say they have found blatantly false stories on social media,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is lower among those aged 35-to-54 (41%) and those aged 55 and over (36%).”

About three-in-ten Canadian social media users (29%) say they have found racist content or comments in their feed. About one-in-five also report finding homophobic content or comments (21%) and content or comments offensive to people with disabilities (20%).

Canadian social media users aged 18-to-34 are more likely to report someone for offensive content or comments (35%, compared to the national average of 21%) and to post something on social media that they deleted after thinking it over twice (28%, compared to the national average of 21%). 

When asked about specific ideas that could be implemented on social media platforms, two thirds of Canadian users (68%) are in favour of banning “anonymous” accounts to only allow people to comment and post if they use their real name and likeness.

Three-in-five Canadian social media users (60%) believe “creeping” should be dealt with and would like platforms to always allow users to see who has viewed their profiles, photos and posts.

A sizeable proportion of respondents (72%) acknowledge that it is difficult to discern which social media accounts are real and which ones are fake.

More than three-in-five social media users (63%) believe politicians who have a social media account should not be able to block users from engaging with them.

Canadian social media users who voted for the Liberal Party or the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2015 federal election (67%) are more likely to support block-free accounts for politicians than those who voted for the Conservative Party (60%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 24 to September 26, 2019, among 840 adult social media users in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Unsolicited Calls and Messages Affect Most British Columbians

More than a third of the province’s  residents received a text asking about their support for a party or policy.

Vancouver, BC [September 27, 2019] – A significant proportion of British Columbians recently had to deal with unsolicited text messages and calls on their mobile phone, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 37% of respondents say that, over the course of the past two months, they received text messages asking them if they support a specific party or policy sent by an individual they do not know.

Men (42%) and British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (44%) are more likely to report getting text messages of a political nature from unknown senders.

A similar proportion of British Columbians (35%) received phone calls and/or phone messages from an individual purporting to represent a government agency (such as the Canada Revenue Agency).

Women (36%) and Metro Vancouverites (39%) are more likely to have received calls or messages from a scammer over the past two months.

Three-in-ten British Columbians (31%) say they received phone calls or messages over the past two months where an individual speaks Cantonese or Mandarin, including 42% of those who reside in Metro Vancouver.

“Younger British Columbians appear to be more affected by unsolicited phone calls and messages than their older counterparts,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While only 40% of residents aged 55 and over say they did not receive any of the three types of calls or messages included in the survey, the proportion falls to 25% among those aged 35-to-54 and 20% among those aged 18-to-34.”

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) have reported an unwanted call or phone number to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly known as PhoneBusters).

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (46%), men (43%) and residents of both Northern BC (47%) and the Fraser Valley (44%) are more likely to have contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report an unwanted call or number.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 11 to September 14, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most British Columbians Bought a Lottery Ticket in the Past Year

Two thirds want the government to do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.

Vancouver, BC [September 20, 2019] – A majority of British Columbians bought a lottery ticket in the past year, with a sizeable proportion of players anticipating a “big win” in the process, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, almost three-in-five residents (58%) say they bought a lottery ticket in the past year.

Lottery ticket buyers in British Columbia are divided in their expectations on the game itself. While 41% do not anticipate they will win anything, 38% say they expect to get “a small prize” and 21% foresee winning “a big prize”.

“The youngest lottery ticket buyers in British Columbia have bigger dreams than their older counterparts,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While only 24% of those aged 18-to-34 do not believe they will win a prize, the proportion rises to 40% among those aged 35-to-54 and 50% among those aged 55 and over.”

British Columbians found other ways to gamble in the past year. Almost half (48%) bought a Scratch & Win ticket, more than a third (36%) attended a casino, and about one-in-five (19%) visited the PlayNow.com website.

Fewer residents of the province played poker (or other card games) online (12%), placed bets on a sporting event with a friend or relative (10%), through SportAction (9%) or on a horse race (5%) in the past 12 months.

Sport bets with friends or relatives are more popular among British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (15%) than among those aged 55 and over (5%).

When asked directly about casinos, three-in-five British Columbians (61%) believe these venues bring tourism dollars and create jobs. Conversely, 27% feel casinos increase gambling addiction and lead to more crime and traffic.

Almost nine-in-ten British Columbians (88%) think people will continue to find ways to gamble even if it was made illegal, and two thirds (67%) believe the government should do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 11 to September 14, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: GoToVan

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most Non-European British Columbians Have Faced Discrimination

Just under one-in-four respondents have endured poor customer service and verbal harassment on account of their ethnicity.

Vancouver, BC [September 13, 2019] – A significant proportion of British Columbians who described their ethnicity as non-European have experienced discrimination in the province, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians who described their ethnicity as non-European, a third of respondents (33%) say they have experienced “a significant amount” (11%) or a “moderate amount” (22%) of discrimination on account of their ethnicity.

“Only 19% of respondents aged 55 and over say they have experienced ethnic-based discrimination in British Columbia,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is higher among those aged 18-to-34 (33%) and those aged 35-to-54 (also 33%).”

More than three-in-five British Columbians who described their ethnicity as non-European (62%) say they have personally experienced one of 11 different incidents on account of their ethnicity.

About one-in-four respondents say they have endured poor customer service (24%) and verbal harassment (23%) on account of their ethnicity.

Other experiences reported by British Columbians who described their ethnicity as non-European are being the subject of racist jokes (17%), being mocked or ridiculed because of their ethnicity (16%), unfair treatment in the workplace (also 16%), and loss of potential employment opportunity (16%).

More than one-in-ten respondents also report facing denial of facilities or accommodation (12%), exclusion from social groups within work (11%), exclusion from social groups within school (also 11%) and denial of goods or services (also 11%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 6 to September 9, 2019, among 391 adults in British Columbia who described their ethnicity as non-European. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

More Than Half of British Columbians Have Boycotted a Company

Half of “boycotters” say they disagreed with how an organization or establishment pays or treats its employees.

Vancouver, BC [September 11, 2019] – A majority of British Columbians admit to having voluntarily abstained from using, buying or dealing with an organization of establishment, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 55% of British Columbians say that, over the course of their lives, they have boycotted an organization or establishment.

Women (58%), British Columbians aged 55 and over (59%) and Vancouver Islanders (62%) are more likely to say that they have boycotted a company.

Half of British Columbians who have actively participated in a boycott (50%) point to disagreements with how employees of a specific organization of establishment were paid or treated.

Other reasons cited for boycotts include disagreements over environmental practices (43%), disagreements over the ownership of an organization or establishment (37%) and disagreements with animal welfare practices (33%).

“Women in British Columbia are significantly more likely to have boycotted a company for labour (56%) or animal welfare reasons (42%) than men (44% and 23% respectively),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Boycotts originating from a disagreement with ownership are more common in Metro Vancouver (41%).”

More than two-in-five British Columbians (43%) say they research the environmental practices of companies before purchasing a product or service “all the time” or “some of the time”. 

Slightly smaller proportions of British Columbians also look into a company’s social practices (39%) and labour practices (37%) before making a purchase.

When it comes to their recent experiences as consumers, more than a third of British Columbians say they review a company’s social, environmental, labour and/or investment practices when shopping for groceries (41%), clothing or shoes (40%), household goods (39%), cleaning products (also 39%), a vehicle (38%), dinner at a restaurant (37%) and electronics (36%).

Across the seven recent consumer experiences tested, British Columbians aged 18-to-34 are significantly more likely to review a company’s practices than their older counterparts.

While only 27% of British Columbians aged 55 and over review a company’s social, environmental, labour and/or investment practices when shopping for clothing or shoes, the proportion climbs to 44% among those aged 35-to-54 and 58% among those aged 18-to-34.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 28 to August 30, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca