So­cial net­works source of news

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment -

WASH­ING­TON — So­cial net­works are an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant news source for many Amer­i­cans, with Face­book lead­ing the pack, a study showed.

The Pew Re­search Cen­tre sur­vey showed 62 per­cent of US adults get news on so­cial me­dia, and 18 per­cent do so of­ten.

That shows a grow­ing role for so­cial me­dia as a news source. In 2012, based on a slightly dif­fer­ent ques­tion, 49 per­cent of Amer­i­can adults re­ported see­ing news on so­cial me­dia, Pew said.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, 66 per­cent of Face­book users get news on the site, as did 59 per­cent of Twit­ter users and seven of 10 users of Red­dit.

Be­cause Face­book reaches some twothirds of US adults, the sur­vey in­di­cates that 44 per­cent of the over­all pop­u­la­tion gets at least some news through the lead­ing so­cial net­work.

The sur­vey comes with Face­book de­fend­ing it­self against al­le­ga­tions that it sup­pressed some con­ser­va­tive news con­tent in its “trend­ing” top­ics.

Last week, Face­book said was un­able to sub­stan­ti­ate any spe­cific ac­cu­sa­tions of bias, but an­nounced it was up­dat­ing guide­lines to be clearer that con­tent de­ci­sions may not be based on pol­i­tics or ide­ol­ogy.

Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg met with a group of con­ser­va­tive po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and told them the net­work was “a plat­form for all ideas.”

Still, the row over the Face­book al­le­ga­tions has high­lighted con­cerns that so­cial me­dia is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a gate­way to news for many read­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the new Pew study, users of Face­book, Youtube and In­sta­gram are more likely to get their news by chance, when they are on­line do­ing other things.

How­ever, those who use Red­dit, Twit­ter and Linkedin of­ten seek out news on­line as of­ten as they stum­ble upon it.

In co­or­di­na­tion with the John S. and James L. Knight Foun­da­tion, Pew sur­veyed 4,654 Amer­i­can adults by mail and on­line from Jan 12 to Feb 8. The mar­gin of er­ror for the full group was es­ti­mated at 2.4 per­cent points.

— AFP Re­laxnews

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