Survey: Number of Americans Getting News on Social Media Slows

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About two-thirds of American adults say they occasionally get their news from social media, according to a survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

The number is 1 percent more than last year, indicating a slowdown in the growth of news consumption on social media.

Despite the popularity of social media, 57 percent said they expected the news they received on these platforms to be inaccurate.

Republicans were far more negative than Democrats about social media news, with 72 percent saying they expect it to be inaccurate. Forty-six percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents reported feeling the same. Pew surveyor Katerina Eva Matsa said this falls in line with years of research on political attitudes toward news media in general.

“We’ve seen stark differences between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to the perception of fairness, the media’s watchdog role, trust toward the media,” Matsa said.

Despite the partisan breakdown, more people listed accuracy as their greatest concern with news on social media than political bias. Thirty-one percent were concerned with accuracy, while 11 percent worried about political bias.

Facebook remained the dominant platform for online news consumption, with 43 percent of respondents saying they get news there. YouTube came in second with 21 percent, and Twitter third with 12 percent. Other major social media platforms such as Instagram and Reddit scored in the single digits.

Reddit stood out as the site where the highest portion of its users were exposed to news, at 73 percent. Twitter and Facebook came in second and third respectively, with 71 percent and 67 percent.

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