CBS News ballot: Is social media making issues simpler or more durable?

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Social media has been within the highlight today, drawing questions on its function on January 6, and in politics extra broadly. Most Americans, from their perspective, report a mixture of results: they name it without delay an informative supply of reports, saying it offers them a voice, but in addition that it makes it more durable to type what’s true from what’s not. Many use it to attach with others and open dialogues — together with with political opponents. 

But we additionally see proof that implies it could give oxygen to the political divisions in society, as a result of those that report posting or commenting about politics on-line are just a little extra ideological and fewer open to compromise, at the same time as they consider their views are within the majority.

Most Americans assume social media and on-line platforms make it more durable for individuals to determine what’s true and what’s false, a criticism that’s shared by majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

Nevertheless, half say social media makes it simpler to have a voice to specific their views (only one in 5 say it makes it more durable), and 1 / 4 say posting or commenting on-line is one in every of their most popular methods of affecting political outcomes. Most who achieve this say social media makes it simpler for them to belong to a group, discover individuals they agree with, and discover out issues not within the mainstream media. Half say it’s simpler to seek out views apart from their very own.

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Those who report that they submit and remark about politics on-line as a approach of attempting to have an effect on politics report being a bit much less open to compromise, as a basic rule, than Americans total. They’re additionally a bit extra ideological inside their events than those that do not (Democrats who submit on-line are, are typically just a little extra towards liberal and really liberal, and Republicans a shade extra towards very conservative and conservative), suggesting a bigger phenomenon that when individuals do encounter an argument of the opposition on-line, they could be extra possible encountering a extra ideological model of it — or at the very least getting it from a supply who’s. Only a few quarter on this posting and commenting group determine as moderates, which is fewer than within the basic inhabitants who do. 

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Republicans who remark and submit on-line are additionally extra possible than different Republicans to say their very own aspect should not compromise with political opponents. 

Perhaps what offers them just a little impetus — or else maybe a suggestions loop — those that submit or remark about politics on-line are additionally extra more likely to assume their views align with the vast majority of Americans on most points. And that is true of each Democrats and Republicans.

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But, those that report that they share political views on-line do not appear to really feel they’re remoted into so-called “filter bubbles”. Most say they’ve political discussions with individuals who have totally different political opinions at the very least typically. That’s larger than the speed for Americans total, most of whom don’t.

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Then once more, solely 1 / 4 would characterize these conversations as “pleasant”. 


This CBS News/YouGov survey was carried out with a nationally consultant pattern of two,092 U.S. grownup residents interviewed between December 14-21, 2021. The pattern was weighted in line with gender, age, race, and schooling primarily based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, in addition to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.6 factors.

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