According to an article in CIO Today, most Americans don't believe everything they read online. The article cites the most recent study from USC Annenberg School's Center for the Digital Future regarding Internet trends and usage, a survey that looks back at the past decade of Internet use in the U.S. and has been taken every year since 1999. 

While the vast majority (75 percent) of Americans find that the Internet has become an important source for information, most of them do not completely trust the information that they receive. According to the survey, 15 percent of Internet users in the U.S. only believe that a small portion of online information is reliable. Seven percent are skeptical of the vast majority of information they receive over the Web. 

Social networks come under fire for reliability and truthfulness, with most people saying that they do not use these networks for information, but instead go there for socializing, sharing photos and getting the latest gossip and videos. Trust grows stronger when it comes to established media and government outlets, who have maintained a solid trust factor since the survey began posting this question in 2003. 

Marketers looking to establish brand identity, close connections to consumers, and build relationships should take these statistics into account. The use of legitimate online news media outlets as a third party credibility vehicle is still very important to public relations campaigns and will add credibility to any message that is being tweeted, facebooked and YouTubed across the Web.