5 Revelations About How People Use Social Media To Talk About Politics

Liberals more likely to block opposing views than conservatives. At George Washington University Thursday, market research firm ORI presented these findings on how politics happens on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms.

1. Younger people are more likely to share their political affiliations.

“Overall, 28% overall said they displayed their political affiliation on their social networks.

While Obama and Romney supporters were equally likely to display their political affiliation, they were twice as likely to do so as someone who did not support either candidate.

More than half of those 18-25 (55%) shared their political affiliation, a rate three times higher than respondents over 55 years that shared their political affiliation.”

2. Most find a diverse collection of opinions on the networks they use.

“More than half (52%) say there’s an even mix of those who do, and do not, share their political views on their networks, though one-quarter (25%) are connected primarily to people who share their views.

Older respondents, particularly those over 45, were more likely to have a mix of views in their social networks, with six in ten saying theirs was a mix of perspectives. Conversely, those 26-35 were more likely to be in ideologically homogeneous networks.”

3. Most Americans still don’t talk politics on the internet.

“Four in ten (41%) said they’d engaged in a political discussion with other people in their social networks, including nearly half the men 48% compared to 36% of women.

Over half the respondents under 35 had engaged in a political discussion on social media compared to just over a third of respondents over 55.”

4. Liberals more likely to post public messages than conservatives.

“Two thirds (65%) of respondents used public messages such as wall posts or tweets, making them the most common way in which political conversations took place on social media. However, one-fifth (19%) also mentioned one-on-one video chats.

Women were more likely to have engaged in a publicly-viewable discussions (72% to 59%) while men were more likely to have participated in a one-on-one video chats (25% to 13%).

Liberals and Obama supporters were more likely than conservatives and Romney supporters to post public messages on social media by a margin of nearly twenty percentage points.”

5. Liberals more likely to block people because of their political views than conservatives.

“Nearly one-fifth (19%) reported defriending, blocking or hiding a contact because of their political views.

Liberals were significantly more likely to have blocked someone than conservatives.
Notably, while there was no difference between Romney and Obama supporters, respondents who did not support either candidate were significantly less likely to have blocked someone.”

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