The top reasons Americans hate Twitter

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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.

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Major Problems on Twitter

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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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5. Twitter banning users

  • 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%

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4. Twitter limiting the visibility of certain posts

  • 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%

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3. The tone/civility of discussions

  • 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%

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2. Harassment and abuse

  • 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%

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1. Inaccurate or misleading information

  • 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%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Methodology

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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