Young Americans think 'fake news' will affect 2020 election

New study reveals the top five social issues Gen Z and millennials care most about today.

Gen Z and millennials may have some different opinions on social issues, but the cohort of 18 to 30 year olds agrees that the U.S. is "off track" and that fake news will have an impact on the 2020 presidential election, according to new research.

In the "Influencing Young America to Act 2019" report, conducted by the Cause and Social Influence initiative, nearly half (48 percent) of all respondents think the U.S. is off track, and more than three out of four (77 percent) say "fake news" will affect the upcoming election.

Gen Z and millennials also revealed their five key concerns and voting issues in the report, including: climate change (30 percent), civil rights/racial discrimination (25 percent), immigration (21 percent), healthcare reform (20 percent) and mental health/social services (16 percent).

The majority of all young Americans in the research learned about climate change, civil rights/racial discrimination, immigration and healthcare reform issues from the news outlets’ social media channels.

Climate change, the study reveals, was slightly more important to Gen Z (34 percent) than to millennials (27 percent).

On the gender front, females and males agreed on climate change and civil rights/racial discrimination as the top two issues. For the third spot, females had three issues tied: immigration, healthcare reform and mental health/social services, while males put immigration as their third-most concern.

When it comes to trust, both groups have more faith in nonprofits and social movements over governments and corporations, but millennials have greater distrust overall. About 28 percent of the younger demographic says they have zero trust in the federal government, compared to 35 percent of millennials.

Both groups of young Americans believe voting will lead to change (71 percent of Gen Z and 66 percent of millennials).

Insights for the report were gathered through social listening conducted January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, and as well as through surveys sent to 1,100 participants from September 20 to 30, 2019.

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