The same study found that half of all US respondents failed to remember which website they read particular news stories on, highlighting the pernicious ability of fake news stories to infiltrate the wider public consciousness.
A total of 2,000 American adults were quizzed in February last year, which tackled subjects such as which news they had read within the preceding two hours prior to the survey, when articles were still theoretically fresh in the mind.
When asked where a particular story had originated from people were able to answer 56% of the time but if the news was obtained from social media then they were far less likely to respond with certainty.
Looking at engagement the Pew Study found, unsurprisingly, that people were far more likely to respond, share or consider a news item if it was shared in an email or text by friends or family. This reduced for stories stumbled upon online and fell even more markedly for reports shared on social media.