Technology

Most Twitter Users in the US Use Platform to Get News: Study

Do you trust the news that you see on Twitter? Few Americans put a great deal of trust in the news found on the social network. A study analysed the behavior of American users on Twitter, including differences in use between Democrats and Republicans.

For its report, Pew Research Pew Research surveyed 2,548 US users of Twitter during the period of May 17-31, 2021. The results show the importance of the social network among American internet users. Because while only 23 percent of Americans use Twitter, as Pew Research points out, the report indicates that about seven out of ten American users follow the news through Twitter.

“For most of these Twitter news consumers, the site is an important way they keep up with the news – but not the most important way,” noted the report. Eight percent of users say that Twitter is the most important way to get information on current events, compared to 59 percent for whom the social network remains important but is not “paramount.” As many as 70 percent stated that they used Twitter to follow live news events in comparison with 59 percent in 2015. The 18-29-year-old demographic are also the most likely to say that Twitter has helped them better understand current events at 62 percent, Pew Research also said.

However, few of them put total trust in these news items. Only 7 percent of American users are extremely trusting when it comes to information found on the social network: “Although only 7 percent of Twitter news consumers say they have ‘a great deal’ of trust in the accuracy of information on Twitter, two-thirds say they have at least some trust in it. This is far higher than the share of Americans (27 percent) who say they have at least some trust in the information they find on social media in general,” the Pew Research study outlined.

Democrats more positive than Republicans: Among US adult users, Pew Research looked specifically at users who identify as Democratic and Republican. Democrat supporters are the most trusting users of information found on Twitter at 74 percent compared to only 52 percent for Republican Party users. The Republicans are also the least satisfied by the amount of news present on the platform: “More of these Republicans (46 percent) say they are worn out by the amount of news they see on Twitter than Democrats (25 percent).” In general, 32 percent of users say they are “worn out” by the amount of news on the social network.

Republican users’ disdain of Twitter is far greater than seen among Democrats. Sixty-three percent say the social network is largely bad for American democracy compared to 26 percent of Democratic users. Democrats are also more likely to consult Twitter as an important source for keeping up with news (63 percent). Forty-four percent of Republicans rate the social network as not an “important way” for keeping up with news.

However while Republicans are less fond of Twitter, they are the most active on the social network. According to Visibrain, the social network monitoring tool, Republicans generate 137,109,752 messages published on Twitter in one year, according to an analysis conducted between November 19, 2020 and November 19, 2021, which is 1.5 as many times as Democrats (91 119 122 tweets), the firm revealed to us.The study does not include posts about Joe Biden, since the current US president alone has been the subject of more than 300 million tweets in one year, they noted.

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