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Hullabaloo


Saturday, May 28, 2016

 
A congenial feedback loop 

by digby
























That graphic is from the latest Pew Poll on where people get their news.I suspect the ramifications of this are going to be quite substantial. If you get your news from your social media feeds you end up getting only one side of the story.  Everyone has their own little Fox News:

A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get news on social media, and 18% do so often, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2012, based on a slightly different question, 49% of U.S. adults reported seeing news on social media.


But which social media sites have the largest portion of users getting news there? How many get news on multiple social media sites? And to what degree are these news consumers seeking online news out versus happening upon it while doing other things?

As part of an ongoing examination of social media and news, Pew Research Center analyzed the scope and characteristics of social media news consumers across nine social networking sites. This study is based on a survey conducted Jan. 12-Feb. 8, 2016, with 4,654 members of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

Reddit, Facebook and Twitter users most likely to get news on each site. News plays a varying role across the social networking sites studied. Two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) get news on the site, nearly six-in-ten Twitter users (59%) get news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform. On Tumblr, the figure sits at 31%, while for the other five social networking sites it is true of only about one-fifth or less of their user bases.

We've seen the Fox effect for years so we already know where that can lead. I run across people all day long who are convinced of certain erroneous facts because they spend their time in a social media bubble.

There's a lot of twitter hate out there and I understand it completely. But it is the platform that at least leads a majority of its users to actual news sites:


The rub, of course, is that you're still in your silo and tend to get led to places that reinforce your silo's viewpoint. Still, it's at least a news site and maybe you'll see something else there that leads to a story you wouldn't have normally seen. 

I think social media and the internet in general have been a great boon to mankind. Aside from the connectivity they have opened up the information flow in myriad ways.  However, there is so much of it that you inevitably wind up finding ways to curate it and it's just easier, and frankly less stressful, to narrow it down to your own worldview. But that can lead to all kinds of destructive thinking like conspiracy theories and just plain wrong facts that get reinforced by your social cohort. It's not good. 

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