VANCOUVER - A new survey of Canadian social media users suggests a troublingly high number of them encounter fake news and racist, homophobic or otherwise offensive content online.

The poll found 41 per cent of respondents have found links to current affairs stories that were "obviously false," Research Co. president Mario Canseco said in a news release.

More people between 18 and 34 reported finding fake news compared with older users.

Finding offensive content online is also common, the poll suggested. Three in 10 people surveyed said they've found racist content or comments in their feed, and one in five have found homophobic content. One in five people also reported seeing content or comments offensive to people with disabilities.

Younger users (18 to 34) surveyed were more likely than older users to report the problematic content.

People also shared their views on how to improve the situation. Two-thirds of users surveyed supported banning anonymous accounts, and three in five people believe platforms should always allow users to see who views their profiles, photos and posts to address "creeping."

Nearly two thirds of people surveyed also believe politicians should not block users from engaging with them.

The firm polled 840 adult social media users between Sept. 24 and 26. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points 19 times out of 10.