The shocking number of Americans who get their news from social media

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Despite several studies finding that social media is rife with misinformation and widespread consensus that foreign actors tried to use social media to influence the past two U.S. presidential elections, Americans continue to rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to get their news.

 

Infographic: 5 in 10 Americans Get (Mis)informed on Social Media | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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According to a recent survey from s who regularly get news on the following social media platforms, 50 percent of U.S. adults at least sometimes get news on social media, making it a key ingredient in Americans’ news media diets.

 

As the chart shows, Facebook and YouTube are most often used as news sources, with 31 and 25 percent of U.S. adults regularly getting news on both platforms, respectively. Twitter and TikTok, which were recently found to be the biggest amplifiers of misinformation, are also high on the list, with Meta’s Instagram completing the top 5.

 

Interestingly, Facebook, Twitter and other “established” social networks have seen a decline in the share of users getting news on each platform over the past two years, possibly as a result of the revelations about systematic misinformation on social media.

 

Meanwhile, TikTok, whose rapid rise to popularity has been eyed with suspicion from the start due to concerns over its parent company ByteDance and its ties to the Chinese government, is bucking the trend, with 33 percent of its users regularly getting news on the platform versus 22 percent in 2020.

 

This article originally appeared on Statista.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

More from MediaFeed:

The big reasons people hate Twitter

 

Despite being one of the most prominent users of the platform himself, Elon Musk has repeatedly voiced his discontent with Twitter’s handling of controversial posts, its algorithm and its practice of banning repeat offenders. In short, Musk appears to believe that Twitter doesn’t “adhere to the principles of free speech” and thus “fundamentally undermines democracy.”

 

And while few people have the power and financial means to make their voices heard, be it by tweeting to 80 million followers, by becoming Twitter’s largest shareholder or buy simply buying the whole thing, Musk is not alone in his view that not all is well in the Twitterverse. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in May 2021, U.S. Twitter users see a lot of major problems on the platform, with inaccurate and misleading information the most pressing one.

 

nicoletaionescu / iStock

 

But while there’s bipartisan agreement that misinformation, harassment and the tone of discussions on Twitter are major problems the platform faces, there’s a stark divide on the issues brought up by Elon Musk. While only 17 percent of Democratic users see Twitter limiting the visibility of certain posts as a major problem, 59 percent of Republican users do. The partisan gap is even wider with respect to Twitter banning users from the platform, a practice that only 6 percent of Democratic users find problematic versus 61 percent of Republican users.

 

The fact of the matter is that the lines between free speech and hate speech are often blurred, forcing social media companies to walk a tightrope between adequately policing problematic content and unjustly censoring it.

 

Here are the top five problems Americans thought Twitter is facing.

 

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  • Share of total U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 25%
  • Share of Republican U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 61%
  • Share of Democrat U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 6%

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

  • Share of total U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 31%
  • Share of Republican U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 25%
  • Share of Democrat U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 17%

 

Pheelings Media / iStock

 

  • Share of total U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 38%
  • Share of Republican U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 36%
  • Share of Democrat U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 39%

 

fizkes / iStock

 

  • Share of total U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 47%
  • Share of Republican U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 41%
  • Share of Democrat U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 50%

 

AntonioGuillem / iStock

 

  • Share of total U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 53%
  • Share of Republican U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 52%
  • Share of Democrat U.S. adult Twitter users who say this is a major problem (%): 54%

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Data is based on a survey from Pew Research Center in May 2021. The survey consisted of 2,548 adults Twitter users. You can find more information here.

 

This article originally appeared on Statista.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Deagreez/iStock.

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