KUALA LUMPUR: Communications group Edelman found in its annual “Trust Barometer 2016” survey that trust in content shared on social media by Malaysians dipped seven points to 42 per cent.
Its Managing Director (Malaysia) Robert Kay said Malaysians’ reduced trust in content shared on social media could be the result of rampant sharing of misinformation online in the past year.
“As doubts about traditional and social media rose, search engines held their lead as the most trusted source for information at 66 per cent, largely because people have more control over what they read and see,” he said in presenting the findings of the survey here today.
Kay said the online survey, based on 1,150 Malaysian respondents conducted from October to November 2015, also showed that trust in traditional media fell by eight points to 49 per cent, highlighting the need for more rigorous, balanced and transparent reporting to regain credibility.
However, one anomaly in the Malaysian data was the divergence in trust in media, with a one-point fall to 45 per cent among the general population but a 13-point rise to 59 per cent among the informed public, he noted.
The survey also showed that non-governmental organisations continued to be the most trusted institution in Malaysia, while trust in media, business and government was falling as ordinary Malaysians grew weary of scandals and how they were handled.
“Malaysians expect leaders of business to take the lead on social challenges and to do much more to discuss public policy and issues as income inequality, as they have permission to share their personal views on societal issues,” he said.
The survey also found that technology was the most trusted sector in the country, followed by the pharmaceutical, automotive, telecommunications and food and beverage sectors, while Japan maintained its top placing for Malaysians’ trust in companies based on country of origin.