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Almost 70% of Americans get their news from social media

As expect, Facebook is the most popular for news.

social media being looked at by ftc
Image: Unsplash

Last week, insurgents stormed the US Capitol and wreaked havoc for hours there. The news traveled with the speed of light as people realized what was going on there.

Last week’s riots were trending on every social media platform. Simultaneously, insurgents also received their news from social media, and some would even argue that their actions were based on what they saw on their screens.

In the aftermath of the riots, people are wondering what the true power of social media is. How does the average American get its news, and what does that mean?

Pew Research, a no-partisan fact tank, revealed a report that deals with the topic of news and how Americans ingest their news nowadays. Their data and their findings reveal a lot on the topic.

Here are their key findings:

  • Eight out of ten Americans claim that they often use smartphones, tablets, or PCs to get the latest news.
  • When asked, 52% said that they prefer to get their news from a digital platform. 35% of the surveyed participants said that they prefer to get their news from TV, whereas 7% opted for radio and only 5% went for printed publications. 
  • 51% of the surveyed people who got their news online said they got it from social media. As expected, Facebook is the most popular social media website for news with Americans, trailed by YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, TikTok, and others. 
  • In terms of demographics, adults over 50 still turn to TV news. Whereas those below 50 are almost by default turned toward their digital devices for consuming the news.  
  • 39% of the surveyed folks believe that the news they get from social media is fairly accurate. On the other side, 59% think that social media news is inaccurate.

The Pew Research survey included 9,220 US adults from every adult group by gender, education, partisan affiliation, race, and other categories.

The survey started on August 31, 2020, and lasted until September 7 of 2020. After that, the researchers started working on the assembled data. The final version of the research was released on January 12, 2020. 

Have any thoughts on this? Surprised that so many people get their news from social media? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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