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New poll finds that half of Canadians are concerned about generative artificial intelligence and the spread of misinformation

Polling data suggests that three quarters of Canadians believe posting or sharing deepfakes on social media should not be allowed.
By Byron Holland
President and CEO

Ottawa, ON – July 10, 2024 – A new poll commissioned by CIRA suggests that generative artificial intelligence (AI) and the spread of misinformation are top-of-mind for many internet users across the country. These results arrive months ahead of a U.S. presidential election and a Canadian election next year—a critical time for people to know what’s true online. 

The annual survey found that Canadians’ concerns over AI outweigh their excitement for the tools. Half (51 per cent) say they’re concerned about the technology, while only one-in-five (17 per cent) say they’re excited about the development of AI. Among those concerned, most cite its contribution to the spread of fake images or videos (69 per cent), mis/disinformation (67 per cent) and insufficient regulations/controls on its use (65 per cent). 

“We’re at a pivotal moment in technology, and it’s clear that Canadians are feeling uneasy about the future of AI,” says CIRA president and CEO, Byron Holland. “AI advancements are unfolding as Canadians lead up to a national election next fall. Over the next year, it will be crucial for Canadians to practice extra vigilance when interacting with content, to identify AI-generated misinformation and discern fact from fiction online.”  

The spread of fake images and videos is also making an impact on Canadians’ online experiences. Two-in-ten Canadians say they have encountered deepfakes online in the past year and one quarter don’t know whether they have. Only half (51 per cent) of Canadians are confident in their ability to detect fraud and scams online—a drop of 16 per cent from 2023. Half (51 per cent) of Canadians believe that deepfakes are a threat to elections in Canada and other democratic countries.  

As Canadians continue to navigate a messy information ecosystem, visiting specific news media sites online remains the top method for accessing news online (35 per cent), followed by Google searches about news events (33 per cent). Notably, since Meta’s decision to remove news content from its Canadian services, only 15 per cent of Canadians report accessing news online via Facebook, a decrease from 34 per cent in 2023.  

The findings and more are outlined in CIRA’s 2024 Canada’s Internet Factbook 

Key findings 

  • About one-in-six Canadians (16 per cent) say they have used a generative AI tool or platform in the past year. 
  • Most Canadians (76 per cent) believe that posting or sharing deepfakes should not be allowed on social media.  
  • The top methods for accessing news online are visiting specific news/media sites (35 per cent) and Google searches about news events (33 per cent).   
  • Only half (51 per cent) of Canadians say they are confident in their ability to detect fraud/scams online, down from 67 per cent in 2023. 
  • Half (53 per cent) of Canadians believe that having a website makes businesses look more credible.  


About Canada’s Internet Factbook 

Canada’s Internet Factbook 2024 was developed by CIRA through an online survey conducted by the Strategic Counsel. A total of two thousand Canadian internet users (18+) were surveyed via an online panel in March 2024. Every year CIRA produces Canada’s Internet Factbook through this research to identify trends in Canadian internet access and use. This year CIRA will post a four-part blog series of the most salient findings from its annual survey. The full research results showcasing the latest Canadian internet trends and online user habits can be found here. 

About CIRA 

CIRA is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. As a leader in Canada’s internet ecosystem, CIRA offers a wide range of products, programs and services designed to make the internet a secure and accessible space for all. CIRA represents Canada on both national and international stages to support its goal of building a trusted internet for Canadians by helping shape the future of the internet. 

Media contact
Delphine Avomo Evouna 
[email protected] 
613 315-1458