Poll Finds Distrust in Covid Information From State Leaders

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It also suggests few people rely on state and local government websites as primary sources of information about the pandemic.

There’s a significant degree of distrust when it comes to pandemic-related information state leaders are delivering to the public, according to a new survey.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents to the poll, which was conducted by the software company Hyland, said they have some distrust, or no trust at all, in the information state leaders are providing about Covid-19. 

Additionally, only 15% of people said they have used state or local government websites as their primary source of information on the virus. Slightly more—13%—said they have turned to federal websites. 

The findings about website use may be notable as state and local governments in many cases have devoted staff time and money during the past year to building coronavirus data dashboards, while also publishing public health guidelines and advisories online.

Hyland said that they polled 1,000 people for the survey.

The poll also asked people about their views on technologies that governments might deploy in certain situations and, here again, found people were wary.

Over half (57%) identified artificial intelligence as the technology with the most potential to cause harm over the next decade due to misuse, and 41% have no trust, or only limited trust, in that type of tech. 

Similarly, respondents took a dim view of “chat-bots,” which people sometimes interact with on websites when a human isn’t available to respond to queries. Forty-two percent of people said they have no trust, or very limited trust, in the bots.

Editor's note: Information distributed about this survey originally misstated the number of people surveyed as 200, not 1,000. The story was updated to correct the error.

Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty

NEXT STORY: New Project Aims to Identify Local Government Assets at Risk of Cyberattack

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