Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Do You Agree With Your Facebook Friends’ Politics? Not Likely
Friends on social media don’t always agree when it comes to politics, a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found.
Whereas 25% of social media users who post political content on sites like Facebook or Twitter “always” or “usually” agree with their friends’ politically charged opinions, 73% of those users “sometimes agree” or “never agree” with friends’ opinions.
And what do those users do when they come across a post that makes their blood boil? Nothing, usually.
66% of users say they typically ignore those posts, while 28% will respond either directly or with a counter-post of their own. According to 5% of users, their response depends upon the relationship they share with the original poster.
Why such a low response rate? It could be that users are showing respect towards their friends’ opinions, or maybe they want to avoid a confrontation about politics if they agree on other aspects of life.
The study also found there’s a chance that your friends might discover your political leanings through your Facebook or Twitter posts. 38% of users told Pew that they realized through social media that a friend’s belief structure was different than what they had originally thought.
According to Pew, people who find themselves at the extreme opposite ends of the political spectrum are more likely to post and comment on political material. They’re also more likely to be friends with more people who share views akin to their own, but “there is as much frequency of disagreement as there is of agreement” amongst those ideologically similar users.
Pew’s study was based on telephone interviews with 2,253 adults aged 18 or higher.
Do you agree or disagree with most of your friends on Facebook or Twitter? What do you do when you come across a post with which you disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
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