Canadians on Misinformation and Coronavirus

Canadians feeling inundated with misinformation about coronavirus
Download the poll results


TORONTO, March 18, 2020 – As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold on home soil, nine out of 10 (88 per cent) Canadians are convinced that misinformation about the virus is circulating around the globe and are sure they’ll be exposed to misinformation before it’s over (90 per cent).

These findings come from a new survey by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and Maru/Matchbox, fielded over the past weekend when many Canadians were trying to get a handle on a situation that was evolving by the hour.

At a time when three-quarters of Canadians (77 per cent) say they have been paying even more attention to the news, some news sources are emerging as more “trusted” than others when it comes to health-related information. Most Canadians (89 per cent) say they rely on their trusted news sources for information during the crisis, but with misinformation running rampant across all social media and online sources, nearly half (47 per cent) don’t know which news sources to trust.

“Canadians need access to trusted sources of news and information,” says Natalie Turvey, CJF President and Executive Director. “And during this period, information is critical. Many people are making decisions based on what is coming across their social feeds and those decisions have a ripple effect across the country and around the world.

“It has never been more important to have clarity. There is no place for misinformation during a crisis.”

Turvey adds that the CJF’s Doubt It news literacy resources can help people engage their inner skeptic and determine what information is vital in protecting themselves and their families at home and abroad.

ABOUT THE SURVEY: Maru/Matchbox conducted the online survey from March 13 to 16 among 1,514 randomly selected Maru Voice Canada panelists. The margin of error on such a sample is +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region census data to ensure a sample representative of the adult population.

ABOUT MARU/MATCHBOX: Maru/Matchbox is a global insights leader with proprietary technology that enables expert consultants to connect with key segments of the population. The Maru Voice Canada panel is made up of deeply engaged, known respondents and offers online access to high-quality, scalable samples that deliver quality responses and produce actionable insights, enabling our clients to make smarter, better-informed decisions.


Natalie Turvey, President and Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation,

Sara Cappe, Managing Director, Public Affairs, Maru/Matchbox,