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

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

Views of Canadians on China and Huawei Clearly Worsen

Two thirds of respondents think Ottawa should not allow Huawei to participate in the development of Canada’s 5G mobile networks.

Vancouver, BC [July 17, 2019] – The perceptions of Canadians on China have deteriorated markedly over the past five months, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 67% of Canadians think Canada should not work to establish closer ties with China.

In December 2018, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. Meng faces charges in the United States—including bank fraud and obstruction of justice—and the U.S. has formally requested her extradition. 

After Meng’s arrest, China’s detained two Canadians—Michel Kovrig and Michael Spavor—on espionage allegations, and banned exports of Canadian canola, pork and beef.

Seven-in-ten Canadians (72%, +9 since a Research Co. poll conducted in February 2019) agree with the way Canadian authorities have acted in the Meng case.

Agreement with the way Ottawa has handled this matter is highest among women (76%), Canadians aged 55 and over (82%) and Liberal Party voters in the 2015 federal election (86%).

The federal government is currently reviewing the guidelines for the development of 5G (or “Fifth Generation”) mobile networks, which are expected to provide Canadians with larger data capacity and faster connections. 

Two thirds of Canadians (68%) think the federal government should not allow Huawei to participate in the development of Canada’s 5G mobile networks.

“In February, 57% of Canadians felt that Huawei should be barred from Canada’s 5G development,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “That proportion has increased by 11 points and now includes 81% of British Columbians and 74% of Ontarians.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 6 to July 9, 2019, among 1,000 adults 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 +/- 3.1 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

Support Still Strong for Automated Speed Enforcement in BC

The use of red light cameras to catch vehicles speeding at intersections is backed by two thirds of British Columbians.

Vancouver, BC [July 10, 2019] – Most British Columbians are in favour of a specific type of automated speed enforcement that will be present in some municipalities this summer, a new Research Co. poll has found. 

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, seven-in-ten residents (68%, -2 since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in August 2018) approve of using speed-on-green cameras, or red light cameras that also capture vehicles that speed through intersections.

Support for the use of speed-on-green cameras is highest among women (74%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (76%). 

“Seven-in-ten British Columbians who do not drive (72%) are in favour of relying on speed-on-green cameras,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In addition, about three-in-five residents who drive five days a week or more (66%), three or four times a week (74%) and once or twice a week (64%) are also in favour of this measure.”

Automated speed enforcement works by using cameras or sensors to pick up a vehicle speeding. A ticket is then issued to the owner of the vehicle. Driver’s license points are not issued as the driver of the vehicle cannot be identified.

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced that 35 existing red light cameras will begin capturing vehicles that are speeding through intersections this summer. The cameras are located in 14 municipalities: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Kelowna, Langley, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver.

Just over half of British Columbians (52%, -3 since August 2018) approve of point-to-point speed enforcement, which uses cameras at two or more distant points on a road. The average speed of vehicles that pass between points is calculated and tickets are issued to vehicles whose average speed over the distance was excessive.

More than three-in-five British Columbians approve of two other types of automated speed enforcement: 69% (-2 since August 2018) for fixed speed cameras, or cameras that stay in one location and measure speed as a vehicle passes, and 63% (-2 since August 2018) for mobile speed cameras, which can be moved from place to place and measure speed as a vehicle passes.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 22 to June 26, 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