Cory Leonard

Shall I Unfriend Thee, Political Foe?

In politics on August 26, 2016 at 8:10 pm


From Leticia Bode, new research on that issue of the century–talking politics on social media.

Social media allow users some degree of control over the content to which they are exposed, through blocking, unfriending, or hiding feeds from other users. This article considers the extent to which they do so for political reasons. Survey data from Pew Research suggests that political unfriending is relatively rare, with fewer than 10% of respondents engaging in the practice. Analysis finds support for the idea that political unfriending is most common among those who talk about politics, those strongest in ideology, those that see the most politics in social media, and those that perceive the greatest political disagreement in their social networks. This suggests that social media are not exacerbating the political information gap as political information on social media is likely still reaching the least politically engaged, whereas the most politically engaged may opt out of political information within social media but still receive it elsewhere.

via Sage Journals | Pruning the news feed: Unfriending and unfollowing political content on social media


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