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30% of Americans Get News From Facebook According To Pew Research Poll 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-like-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a recent Pew Research poll a third of Americans get their news while they 'like' things. 'All in all, then, it may be the very incidental nature of the site that ultimately exposes more people to news there,' Pew said. 'Indeed, the more time one spends on the site, the more likely they are to get news there.'"
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30% of Americans Get News From Facebook According To Pew Research Poll

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  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) * on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:01PM (#45255595)

    Facebook makes me personally more engaged and thoughtful of all events, both news and personal.

    It's amazing how I can see someone that I connected with on Facebook in real life and have a vague notion of what they are up to. It makes me feel connected. The same goes for news; my friends all read the new several times a day and therefore gives me a hand on the pulse of current events, even though that's not my intent.

    • by Garridan (597129) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:14PM (#45255657)
      I get my news from Slashdot. My wife tells me I have a very republican-leaning family -- if I was on facebook, I'd probably be exposed to a larger breadth of opinion. Confirmation bias? I try to look elsewhere for news... but ultimately, I keep coming back to the places that present the stories that I care about.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        I've become much more libertarian since I came to slashdot. Nothing like having people tell you you're an idiot simply because you disagree with them on policy. Yeah, liberal elitism has turned me completely away from anything "socialism". Rarely have the people in ivory towers ever figured the world as it really is, only as it should be.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:58PM (#45256117)

          I've become much more libertarian since I came to slashdot. Nothing like having people tell you you're an idiot simply because you disagree with them on policy.

          You're an idiot for changing views just because someone disagrees with you.

          • Thanks for proving why I changed my views. People like you, who hide behind the cloak of A/C comments. I didn't say I changed my views because people call me names. I said it doesn't help your cause. Which you seem to have completely missed. And if that is the best retort the the "elite" has to offer, it isn't much of one. Thanks for proving my case for me.

            • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday October 28, 2013 @12:36AM (#45256257) Homepage Journal

              "Elite Anonymous Coward". Wow - what a concept.

            • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

              Thanks for proving why I changed my views. People like you, who hide behind the cloak of A/C comments. I didn't say I changed my views because people call me names. I said it doesn't help your cause. Which you seem to have completely missed. And if that is the best retort the the "elite" has to offer, it isn't much of one. Thanks for proving my case for me.

              Actually, given your sentence structure, you did say you changed your views because of people on slashdot calling you an idiot for your previous views. Maybe that wasn't your intention, but that is actually what you communicated. Now, giving you the benefit of the doubt that English is not your primary language, what were you trying to say?

          • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday October 28, 2013 @12:35AM (#45256255) Homepage Journal

            More accurately, an idiot is incapable of changing his views. Anyone with a working brain evaluates and considers news and opinions. Well presented views, news, and opinions SHOULD enable a person to change his own views. GP deserves a nod of respect, whether you agree with his opinions or not.

            • you never argue with an idiot. they'll bring you down to their level and they'll win because they have had more practice...
            • Anyone with a working brain actively resists changing their mind. People shown to be wrong are more likely to remain dedicated to the wrong facts.
              It takes someone with an open mind, or little emotional investment, to have their opinion changed by argument or facts. Or, if you grow to detest the source, like family or an ex.
              Changing political leanings is very hard, but if it all you read it can become first familiar, then recognizable, then obvious.
              You described what we expect of brains, not how they are use

              • Ehhhh. "people shown to be wrong are more likely to be dedicated to the wrong facts" Yeah, maybe - I've witnessed that in real life. Usually, those people aren't especially intelligent. They may not be real dummies, but they aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, either. "it takes someone with an open mind, or little emotional investment, to have their opinion changed" Personally, I have little emotional investment in any set of facts. As a small child, I thought the sun and the moon chased each ot

        • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday October 28, 2013 @12:27AM (#45256237)
          Odd, I've had the complete opposite experience. I'm politically libertarian, but I loathe to ever admit it in public due to the connotation of them being stuck-up pricks that love to idealize the world in 'flawless' little politico-economic frameworks. And in my experiences, that stereotype is not entirely unfounded. When your first reaction is to pick a stance on something based solely on 'minimizing government', as opposed to starting from first principles or from inductive reasoning drawing on history, you've got a problem. You've got an ivory-toweritis problem. I'm libertarian because on average my own path of reasoning tends to draw me to free market solutions and socially-liberal fiscally conservative stances (which I'm not going to be arrogant enough to claim "how the world really is", that's elitist talk), but I never felt the same with my political 'peers'.
          • by AK Marc (707885)
            I love the arguments I get in on here where I'll re-state what a candidate for the Libertarian Party said, as if it represents the current US libertarian movement, and I'm corrected that LP is not libertarian, or something like that. Or I'll state that I'm libertarian, but I don't vote libertarian because I don't agree with the LP, and people tell me if I don't agree with the LP, then I can't be a libertarian.

            The funny thing is the large number of responses to the same comment/person that are contradictor
            • by Smauler (915644)

              You're currently mentally wanking over what you think other people think. Stop, please.

              I personally don't care what you think other people think, and your misguided arrogance to presume that others will, while complaining about groupthink, is breathtaking.

          • What I don't understand about modern day US libertarians is that the classical economic theory they seem to mostly endorse contradicts their own central principles, and even in relatively obvious ways. For instance, the Principle of Diminishing Marginal Utility in combination with sum-utilitarianism implies that monetary transfers from the rich to the poor increase overall utility, game theory can be used to show that free markets lead to cartels, there are Pareto efficient states in which one person owns a

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          I've become much more libertarian since I came to slashdot. Nothing like having people tell you you're an idiot simply because you disagree with them on policy. Yeah, liberal elitism has turned me completely away from anything "socialism". Rarely have the people in ivory towers ever figured the world as it really is, only as it should be.

          Okay, I'll bite. You used to believe that we are all in this together (socialism), but now profess every man/person for themself because people on slashdot, who you don't know and more importantly don't know their background have disagreed with you?

          As for ivory towers, wouldn't you first have to figure out how the world actually is, before you can figure out how it should be? If you want to change your moral compass, that's fine, do so, but don't blame slashdot or anybody else. That choice is ultimately a

    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:03PM (#45255875)
      The problem is the echo chaimber it creates. If you only get news your friends share, where do you get alternative viewpoints?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NixieBunny (859050)
        Today's Facebook echo chamber was echoing a lot of Lou Reed songs. That was all the news that mattered today.
      • The problem is the echo chaimber it creates. If you only get news your friends share, where do you get alternative viewpoints?

        This begs the question of why someone would want to get alternative viewpoints. Most people don't want to be regularly exposed to ideas, beliefs, culture, etc., that conflicts with their own. It creates anxiety, anger, and/or dissociation. The begged question, by the way, is also a rhetorical question. But it doesn't change human nature, and we are talking about Facebook here.

        The "social network" is not simply a conduit for human virtues -- it is equally a conduit for human failures. And let's be honest wit

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This begs the question

          No, it doesn't. It raises the question. "Begging the question" is something else entirely.

        • This begs the question of why someone would want to get alternative viewpoints. Most people don't want to be regularly exposed to ideas, beliefs, culture, etc., that conflicts with their own. It creates anxiety, anger, and/or dissociation.

          This is the point. You never hear the news that you do not want to hear. You never hear about how bad high fructose corn syrup is because you do not know people who know how bad high fructose corn syrup is. You never hear about the Obama encroachments on civil rights because... Or you never hear about republican assults on women because...

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        People don't want alternative viewpoints.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Exactly! That's why I get all my news on Slashdot.

      • by todrules (882424)
        I'm not sure that getting news on FB means getting it from your friends necessarily. I get my news from FB, but not from my friends on there. I get it by "Liking" different news pages. I did that mainly because this is the easiest way to setup a feed on Android. Instead of having to setup a dozen or more different RSS feeds (and find a good widget that I like, which I haven't yet). Now, all I have to do is connect with FB. I barely even see my friends commenting. FB, for me, is all about news. Some sites th
    • News in general should be about the condition and potential effects of a given event on society. You're blathering on about emotions, feelings, and the individual; the worship of selfishness. It is still a form of selfishness to identify with another selfish soul devoid of facts and full context -- it is the confirmation to one's own selfishness to indulge and support selfishness in others.

      Academia often states that Wikipedia for example is a poor source, not because by definition it is a tertiary / secon
      • TL:DR version: You're talking about gossip, not news.
        • News isn't what is reported, that is MSM. What is news is what nobody else has heard because they are too busy watching MSNBC and FOX. I've found that what shapes peoples opinions are the "news" they follow, the stuff that isn't really on anyone else's radar. Shallow people have no news other than what MSM tells them. They pick sides MSNBC / FOX and that is all they know.

          • by rockout (1039072)

            MSNBC and Fox get what, a few million viewers, max, per day? A tiny fraction of the population of the US.

            Your false dichotomy is a direct result of your desire to feel like you know something that everyone else doesn't, or at least, most other people, all of whom you regard as being not as smart as yourself. It's a ridiculous point of view bred by your narcissism.

            Lemme guess, you can also tell us about the real story behind 9/11, that only you and a few other really smart people know about. "Really smart

            • I'm not a conspiracy advocate. I think 19 guys from mostly Saudi Arabia flew airplanes into buildings. What I find amazing are the people who think that GWB orchestrated it, while simultaneously believing he is the stupidest president ever; one the one hand he is pure evil genius and on the other hand a monkey is smarter than he is. Hilarious!

              • I'm not a conspiracy advocate. I think 19 guys from mostly Saudi Arabia flew airplanes into buildings.

                You think they told everyone about it first? Because otherwise IT WAS A CONSPIRACY.

                conspiracy
                plural noun: conspiracies
                1. a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

                I am so sick of the word conspiracy being used to mean 'things that crazy people who are wrong believe in'. The correct word for that is delusion.

                delusion
                plural noun: delusions
                1. an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rat

            • Your false dichotomy is a direct result of your desire to feel like you know something that everyone else doesn't, or at least, most other people, all of whom you regard as being not as smart as yourself.

              Most people don't make it difficult to feel more intelligent than them. Warmongers, rote memorization geniuses, people almost entirely without the aptitude to understand a given subject, people who toss away everyone's freedom for safety, people who continually vote for the 'lesser of two evils', and many more kinds of imbeciles make up most of the population.

        • Yes. But that ususally is what's passed as news on non-news-sites. (I don't want to single out facebook here)

          Subscribe to the Snopes-Rss feed to see what os presented there as "news".

      • I'm not sure what reading the news on Facebook is like (having no account there), but besides a simple news app (headlines + short summary) I get my news mostly from two (Dutch) blogs, one of them a left-leaning site that proclaims to be somewhat civilized, the other is a rather irreverent and somewhat puerile right-leaning blog (its tag line proudly states: "tendentious, unfounded and needlessly grievous"). Both cover the news of the day fairly well.

        These being internet blogs, you can guess at the sort
    • by epyT-R (613989)

      'feel connected' and 'are connected' are not the same thing.

    • thats like watching Fox news. i wouldn't trust anything on Facebook, Twitter etc at all for accurate impartial news
    • It's amazing how I can see someone that I connected with on Facebook in real life and have a vague notion of what they are up to. It makes me feel connected.

      For the last time, she dumped you in high school. You're no longer "connected".

    • by N1AK (864906)
      I listen to and read a lot of news and use Facebook very little. When I do the little news I do see is often wrong, misleading, hyperbolic or unimportant. Now maybe getting access to that is marginally better than no access to the news at all, however it certainly isn't better than even 10 mins of reading real news each day. Maybe people would have some awareness of what is happening from Facebook but they almost certainly don't get any insight into why it is happening which is vitally important.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Facebook makes me personally more engaged and thoughtful of all events, both news and personal.

      It's amazing how I can see someone that I connected with on Facebook in real life and have a vague notion of what they are up to. It makes me feel connected. The same goes for news; my friends all read the new several times a day and therefore gives me a hand on the pulse of current events, even though that's not my intent.

      That might be good if what was displayed on FB was actually news, but usually it is opinion pieces put their based on what FB's analytics think you would find agreeable and from what they can then monetize. As such, you really aren't getting the pulse of current events, but instead, filtered information that is tailored towards your own points of view.

      News, should be objective. FB's versions is not. Plain and simple. (although that doesn't mean FB is the one manipulating it, like certain national media outl

  • by deodiaus2 (980169) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:01PM (#45255597)
    the other 40% get it from Fox News. The rest don't care.
    • That doesn't speak well of you then. Which one are you?
    • by Phrogz (43803)

      And some of us are right-minded individuals who get our news from The Daily Show.

  • Explains a lot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justcauseisjustthat (1150803) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:03PM (#45255611)
    So many people, so misinformed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Including you, apparently. If you had bothered to read the links you would have seen this was a good thing. The report shows that very few people get their news only from Facebook and that seeing news incidentally leads to more engagement from the people who are least likely to seek out news. The fact that people are sharing and discussing news on Facebook leads to an overall higher consumption of news.
      • Where the fuck does it say it's a good thing? It says that people who don't read the news think it is better. i.e. The misinformed think it is a better place to get news or it's the only place they get their news. Which is fucking atrocious and horrible. And most of the news they do get is entertainment related. The rest is basically people's own opinions on what is going on from unreliable sources. Of people who actually read the news elsewhere less than 40% think it is a good place to get your news from.
      • I don't know whether or not it's possible to find good news sources on Facebook (I seriously doubt they would qualify as "good" to me.), but anyone who uses Facebook is most likely an absolute imbecile just for that. I'm not saying Facebook users are merely misinformed; I'm saying that any given Facebook user is very likely almost completely unintelligent.

  • The news you want (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:04PM (#45255615) Homepage

    The great part about getting information from a social network is that you can precisely fine-tune what information you allow to seep into your personal bubble.

    • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:03PM (#45255873)

      The great part about getting information from a social network is that you can precisely fine-tune what information you allow to seep into your personal bubble.

      The downside is the self-selection bias of online news makes for an echo chamber of one's existing beliefs, ensuring no facts that run counter to one's existing thoughts are presented. We're all better informed of the opinions we agree with, but as ignorant as ever of those holding opposing views.

      • Hmm. Well, I guess that's why I don't use Facebook. All my friends have different viewpoints on many subjects. Some align and have caveats, others ascribe different reasons. We all care about different things. For instance, as a cyberneticist I'm keenly aware of the degree of suffering my food endures. Unlike my idealist vegan friend who's largely clueless about being an evolved product of our environments, neuronal density of livestock, and the fuzzy complexity threshold of sentience, I simply apprec

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      ...which apparently includes a rehash of all the email forwards since 1992... But other than that, it's great.

    • by manu0601 (2221348)

      Good journalism is about to defeat your personal bubble, and let enter information you would not have thought as relevant.

      Getting "the news you want" means you just reinforce each days your beliefs and biases.

  • summary says 'ever' (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:14PM (#45255655)

    As in ""Overall, about half of adult Facebook users, or 47 percent, 'ever' get news there," Pew said in its report. "That amounts to 30 percent of the population."

    So if you see a news story on Facebook, once in a while, i.e. often enough to remember that you did it, ever, you're in the 30%. It's a deceptive summary.

    The referenced article goes on to say, "Just 4 percent said Facebook is the most important way they get news"

    Carry on with your silliness.

    • by Kohath (38547)

      Misinformation? In a news post? No way!

    • As in ""Overall, about half of adult Facebook users, or 47 percent, 'ever' get news there,"

      What does this mean? 53% of Facebook users never read their wall? Or they do but none of their friends post news stories? They have very poor memories? The question confused them?

      Facebook won't let others access information like which news stories are the most posted, but if they did it would actually make a decent news aggregator, without implicit editorial bias. One of my favorite news feeds used to be "Yahoo

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Sounds like they measured it like the Nielsen ratings. There are only a small percentage of Nielsen households, but they treat the numbers as Holy and a direct indication of what other people are watching. In truth, there are certain factors that may make someone more likely to want to be a Nielsen family. For example, they watch a lot of TV. Nielsen then assumes everyone watches the same amount of TV as someone who wanted a Nielsen box. I would also surmise that people who want a Nielsen box are more likel
  • by Kohath (38547) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:15PM (#45255665)

    Why not get your news from Facebook? Almost every source of news in the US spins and/or censors coverage for someone's political gain. If you're going to hear lies about current events, you might as well hear them from your friends.

  • by parallel_prankster (1455313) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:30PM (#45255741)
    I think everyone has a friend on FB who posts news items really fast. As soon as they happen. It is almost like some people feel compelled to be the first to ancounce news on Facebook. I think those few people may be responsible for most others getting their news on FB as well.
  • by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:37PM (#45255761)

    My (admittedly limited) experience on Facebook suggest that people who are engaged with current events will link to stories, and others will comment on them or like them. That doesn't seem to be all that different from what happens on Slashdot or forums. The difference is in the depth of that layman commentary and how well you know the people involved in the discussion.

    So it's not that Facebook is the source of the news. I would be horrified if that was the case. Facebook is simply being used to connect people to the news, and those links may be to more reputable sources. There is reason to be concerned about the bias that a person finds within their own social circles, but you get a lot of bias from sites like Slashdot and forums anyhow.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I think the real difference is that people can post pretty much anything to their Facebook news stream, including things that are blatantly, provably false. (Apparently it's part of the TOS for facebook users to post at least one tired old hoax a day or have your account suspended. Or be attacked by butt spiders. Or something.) At least what gets posted to Slashdot as news stories goes through some cursory editorial review, and comments that can't be backed up get called bullshit by other users. If we

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:47PM (#45255817) Homepage

    The pollsters missed it by the phrasing of their question. People aren't getting their news from Facebook. They're getting news from their friends and people they're following, who happen to be posting links to that news to Facebook. The difference is subtle but important. If someone goes "Oh, all we need to do is get our stories to appear on Facebook.", they're going to have their whole push fall on it's face because nobody's reading their articles. They'd need to get their articles in front of the people who lots of other people follow first, and make those articles interesting enough that those people post links to them for their followers to see. That's more complicated than just getting your story carried by a half-dozen major outlets.

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:21PM (#45255963) Journal

      That the news you see on your facebook feed has to have been deemed important by one of your friends (or one of their friends) is a very good point. Where this breaks down is that your friends (or at least, *my* friends) will believe anything. Including that microwaved water will kill plants and that keying in your PIN backwards will call the police. Taken holistically, it creates a very bizarre picture of the world.

    • you're right on here:

      The pollsters missed it by the phrasing of their question. People aren't getting their news from Facebook. They're getting news from their friends and people they're following

      but you missed directly from the News Company (CBS, MSNBC, NYTImes, etc)

      the News orgs themselves post links to their stories...no reposting by individual 'friends' needed

      I say this b/c a friend of mine uses facebook.com as essentailly a news aggregator and event calendar for rock shows and new films...his identity

      • Back in my days, we used to have Google Reader for that.

      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        That's the thing, though: none of the news stories in my feed were posted by those major outlets. They're posted by other people I know, linking back to those major outlets. If News Corp. posts something, relatively few people will see it. It's only if those people repost it and other people are interested enough to want to re-repost it that it spreads and a lot of people see it. If that doesn't happen, odds on most people will never see it no matter what News Corp. does.

  • There are more news stories printed each day than any individual person could ever reasonably be aware of. Some sort of filter is needed, and, honestly, 'things my friends consider important', i.e., FB links, is a fairly good way to discriminate. If news is interesting/significant to people you share commonality with, it's likely to be interesting/significant to you. (Hence, Slashdot, where all of us nerds aggregate around 'News for nerds'.)

    I find most aggregation services fairly bad at this. I actually

    • There are more news stories printed each day than any individual person could ever reasonably be aware of. Some sort of filter is needed, and, honestly, 'things my friends consider important', i.e., FB links, is a fairly good way to discriminate.

      It used to be until tons of old classmates from elementary school showed up on my facebook account pretty much devaluating the meaning of "friend"

  • 86% of statistical analysis companies get their results via electronic survey. The other 14% make them up.
  • I get some news from Facebook and I also post some (usually political) news on Facebook. Often Facebook provides you with news you wouldn't have otherwise read (not big enough to be on a major news site, unpopular, etc). You also have the advantage that you know your friends political views, which makes it much easier to tell if they are spinning something.

  • Bwahahahahahaha...
    • I totally agree...Pew and virtually all mainstream 'polling' companies are just awful

      IMHO the entire way people are polled about things like what they watch (Nielsen ratings), their political views (take your pick...), and their attitudes on technology (Pew in TFA)...hell, even SoundScan, which reports music industry sales figures, is gamed out by the industry & is not representative at all of what music people obtain and listen to...

      Go down the line...they all use 1950s methodology juiced up...sort of

  • facebook.com is does not employ reporters...they don't have a DC bureau...facebook.com does not report news

    the news organizations (NBC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, NYTimes, WSJ, etc etc)...**they** provide the news content that is viewed in the news feed

    facebook, at best, can be seen as an aggregator of news content

    NYTimes, CBS, your local paper...**they** report the news

    facebook's news feed is an aggregator

    ugh...IMHO this is just pointless to research this aspect from this perspective...a better research topic which

  • I get my news from:
    - Jon Stewart
    - Stephen Colbert
    - My personalized Google News page
    - A "Liberal Left" friend of mine (on FB) who apparently likes HuffPo (more of an entertainment feed than news)
    - www.icanhascheezeburger.com (because FU, I like cats)

  • Grumpy Cat hates everything.... ... You friends need you help tend their farm in Farmville...
    and
    You may already be a winner (but if you spend the whole day logged into Facebook, we severely doubt it.)

  • I don't think "Jonny's just lost his first tooth" qualifies and investigative journalism.

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