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67% of Americans Use Social Media To Get Some of their News 71

Shan Wang, writing for Neiman Lab: Sixty-seven percent of Americans report getting some of their news via social media at some point, according to a Pew Research survey of just under 5,000 U.S. adults conducted last month and published Thursday. That overall percentage is only up slightly from 62 percent in 2016, in the run-up to the November election. But among specific demographics, using social media for news has increased: 74 percent of non-white U.S. adults now get news from social media, up from 64 percent of that group who got news that way in 2016. Fifty-five percent of Americans 50 and older say the have gotten news from social media, up from 45 percent (older people are also driving the increasing percentage of people who get news via mobile). Facebook is still the dominant social media source for news. But when Pew looked at the percentage of users on each social media platform who were using it for news, it was Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube that saw increases (remember that user bases are vastly different sizes, from YouTube to Facebook to Tumblr to Twitter):
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67% of Americans Use Social Media To Get Some of their News

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  • Is /. social media? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07, 2017 @04:44PM (#55155393)

    Is /. social media?

    • I would argue that it is. Many come for the comments and discussions. /. helps facilitate those discussions by having articles to start the conversations as compared to following specific people or accounts to hear what they have to say.

    • >> Is SlashDot social media?

      Can people add their thoughts/opinions and additional facts to the press releases, marketing blurbs and occasional actual reader submission that make up the "stories" here?

      >> Yes.

      Then...yes, SlashDot is social media. [Close: Solved]
    • I would say yes also because the primary goal here is to read about the topic of the story rather than the story link itself.. there's pretty much no headline I see on Slashdot I've not already seen elsewhere.

    • /. is antisocial media, you festering malodorous gob.

    • Is /. news? By the time a story hits /., it's closer to history than news.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Is /. social media?

      Also... what counts as news?

      I get a lot of car news via facebook. New model releases, updates, spectacular crashes, so on and so forth from various sites I've subscribed to. Every now and then you even get something news worthy through that no-one else picked up on like that time a few million quid of Jaguar/Land Rover engines got stolen. The Daily Mail and their ilk were too busy with a massive story in France where SOMEONE IN A BURKA stole a hundred Euro to bother with a piffling story such as millions

  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Thursday September 07, 2017 @04:53PM (#55155463) Journal

    I imagine the other 28% probably can't read.

    More seriously, the only way to gauge news today is to read a wide variety of sources and ignore the slanted ones. Deduce the slant from the verbiage, such as god-like pronouncements or emotional hot button words. It's not that hard.

    It's interesting, though, that reading historical documents, one is struck by the use of emotional language in such places as Victorian-era memoirs and diaries, and in Soviet government documents. It sticks out like a sore thumb. I find that Korean to English translations also have this feature. How much we have changed. That same style of verbiage in modern English reportage would be disbelieved prima facie.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      Like this article for example. "Use social media to get some of their news"? Well I definitely do get a lot of news from Facebook, but it's not the primary source I use. I guess I'm included in the stat though since it's "some"
      • by HBI ( 604924 )

        I'd recommend reading elsewhere. Most of the social media news is highly slanted and mostly inaccurate. Like today, I had someone on my mother-in-law's FB account saying that the wildfires in Montana were just as bad as hurricanes in Texas based on some slanted post someone wrote there. It turns out the wildfire season is about average taken overall across the country this year, and the amount of people affected is far less than the Texas or putative Florida hurricane will impact. This is a fairly tame

        • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
          I do read elsewhere, but I still come across (usually local) stories that show up on facebook before other sources. If it's something interesting, I might look for more info, but if it's something like "shark does bad job dancing at superbowl", I might just go "huh." and move on.
          • but if it's something like "shark does bad job dancing at superbowl", I might just go "huh." and move on.

            Sadly, many people do not move on, and that's all it takes for Left Shark to become reality.

            Full disclosure: I'm a fan of Left Shark. Really liked his work there.

      • I see people say that, and then try to talk to them to see what they know. They tend to have a great grasp of memes and basic fallacies like ad hominem and appeals to emotion, but no facts. "News" is supposed to provide you facts so that you can form an opinion. We seem to have lost that very special distinction over a pretty short time.

        Just to one up your use of social media for news, I had a guy tell me all kinds of crazy stuff a particular politician said in a speech. I went and listened, it took all

    • More seriously, the only way to gauge news today is to read a wide variety of sources and ignore the slanted ones.

      I guess you'll be ignoring /. then. That / is definitely slanted.

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday September 07, 2017 @05:04PM (#55155543)
    and, of course, frequency.
  • 5,000 people seems a bit small to actually be representative of 300,000,000 people. I would also point out that this is only representative of people that actually agree to take a survey. I'm not saying their claim is incorrect, I'm just saying one small survey shouldn't be taken as gospel.

    • At least, the garbage polls for 2016 that had Hillary in the lead by 8-10 points.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        At least, the garbage polls for 2016 that had Hillary in the lead by 8-10 points.

        The sample size is big enough that it almost certainly was not a statistical fluke. If people didn't answer truthfully because Trump was such a controversial candidate you could have called 7000 or 70000 or the whole fucking country and you'd still have a poll that was way off compared to the voting booth. It's a limitation of polls, not of the sample size.

        • Or it was intentional (oversampling Ds, non-representative). To swing the 1 or 2% that simply want to have voted for 'the winner'.

          • It seems to me that the polls made people overconfident that Clinton would win. I'm not sure what's important about voting for "the winner" but maybe that appeals to some people.

            I think it's more likely people who wanted Clinton (or just didn't want Trump to) to win didn't bother to vote because they believed she was a shoe-in.

            • I don't understand it either, but about 1 or 2% of the population treat elections like 'big games'. They just want bragging rights for having voted for 'the last 6 winners'.

              You know 100% voted Hillary.

              'They' were overconfident, it did come down to turnout. The elephant in the room is that racist black voters didn't turn out for a crooked white woman like the did for a crooked black man.

              It was close enough, I don't think many stayed home (in most states) because they thought it was a done deal. They j

          • Bad polling is something the people involved try to avoid. It's embarrassing, and leads to reduced credibility.

            • Internal polls attempt accuracy. Public polls are glorified ads.

              If what you said was true, would the 'push poll' even exist? Polls are used to push agendas all the time. It's all how they ask the question. can get any answer they want.

              • Most organizations that live on their polling results live off their reputations. This shouldn't be confused with organizations that live on something else and use slanted polls to try to convince people.

        • by HBI ( 604924 )

          I actually agree when we are talking about a typical random sample poll done at a point in time, but you might want to look at the methodology of the one poll that was calling it correctly the whole cycle: the 2016 USC Dornsife/LAT poll. They also called 2012 correctly - or at least much more correctly then the regular newspaper polls, but under the name of the Rand Corporation Continuous Election Poll. You might not remember this, but Romney was slightly ahead in several polls rolling into Election Day.

  • Are we talking about accounts or users :)
  • Truth hurts, doesn't it? Get your act together, America.
  • There are many places on the Internet where I stick a wet finger in the air, to assess weather conditions.

    Where I "get" my meteorology is from professionals over a broad spectrum (I actually prefer Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith over Joe and Mika when Chris and Shep are taking their jobs seriously). And then I often cross-check the professionals against Wikipedia (mostly for leaving important shit out) and Google Scholar (for careful treatment of what they chose to include).

    Where it comes to meteorology, h

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      Slashdot mainly serves to keep my severed finger wet.

      Doh!

      Somewhere inside I just knew I was one word away from the perfect ending. I stared and stared at the video replay until I finally got it. Damn. Two beautiful bumps from Chomsky and Harris, and then I flubbed the spike.

      And no, it wasn't an accident that team Chomsky, Harris and Will were lined up against Hannity, Limbaugh, and Carlson—those shrill wind-up drawls that blow nobody good—(Frum Jr. must then, perforce, be the odd-man-out stripe-

  • Other questions for a little context: What percentage of Americans get news from the corporate media? We hear how awful the Facebook newsfeed is, but how does it compare to actual corporate media? What percentage of Americans know enough to understand whether reportage is at all accurate? ~67% relying on social media is a scary number. I just wonder whether there's scarier numbers out there.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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