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62% Americans Get News On Social Media (journalism.org) 69

More people in the United States are now turning to social media instead of traditional media for news. According to Pew Research Center, which surveyed over 4,500 people with various backgrounds, an increasingly number of Americans -- 62% to be exact -- are getting their news from social media platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram. Of the 62% people, 66% of them get their news from Facebook, 23% from Instagram, 21% from YouTube, and 19% from LinkedIn. From a Huffington Post article: It's easy to believe you're getting diverse perspectives when you see stories on Facebook. You're connected not just to many of your friends, but also to friends of friends, interesting celebrities and publications you "like." But Facebook shows you what it thinks you'll be interested in. The social network pays attention to what you interact with, what your friends share and comment on, and overall reactions to a piece of content, lumping all of these factors into an algorithm that serves you items you're likely to engage with. It's a simple matter of business: Facebook wants you coming back, so it wants to show you things you'll enjoy.
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62% Americans Get News On Social Media

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  • Nothing to see here, Move Along.

    • From the summary:

      ...It's easy to believe you're getting diverse perspectives when you see stories on Facebook....

      No it isn't easy to believe that.

      .
      What is easy to believe is that you are getting perspectives that fit into your belief bubble. You are liking the things you want to see more of, that is why you click the like button.

      (instead of starting a new sub-heading, I chose to use the Filter Bubble sub-heading that was already available. No sense in duplication.)

    • The filter bubble is widely known, but this is the first article that I've seen with some hard numbers. It comes at a particularly interesting time due to the possibility of a Trump presidency.
      I see Fox News mentioned in one of the other comments on this thread. I think this shift to "social media" as a news source will do way more damage than Fox ever could. With Fox, you're still dealing with an old-style news organization... It's slanted more than most, but there's still some semblance of accountability.
      • Going a bit OT here but remember how much vitriol people directed at Bush? Say what you will about his policies (there's definitely a lot to say...) but at least the man was qualified to be a statesman.

        [citation needed]

  • Idiocracy is here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @10:46AM (#52201325)
    Trump. Facebook. Angry Birds the Movie.

    Idiocracy is here.
    • Amen, bro.

      The era if the 10 second attention span is here.

      The dumbing down of the U.S. is making great progress.

      If Camacho were in the ballot, he'd be a front runner.

      Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

      • Amen, bro.

        The era if the 10 second attention span is here.

        The dumbing down of the U.S. is making great progress.

        If Camacho were in the ballot, he'd be a front runner.

        Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

        TL;DR

    • Nice one, Idiocracy [imdb.com] (2006)
    • Trump. Facebook. Angry Birds the Movie. Idiocracy is here.

      Trump, Angry Birds - redundant?

  • by bagboy ( 630125 ) <neo&arctic,net> on Saturday May 28, 2016 @10:58AM (#52201367)
    I've been guilty on occasion, but truth is we are more and more becoming citizens of the Wall-E concept. Someday you'll simply sip a slurpy from your robotic recliner.
  • Facebook (especially) has the power to use the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) to influence what people see, and that has been proven to have a strong influence on how people vote: [aeon.co]

    As one might expect, familiarity levels with the candidates was high – between 7.7 and 8.5 on a scale of 10. We predicted that our manipulation would produce a very small effect, if any, but that’s not what we found. On average, we were able to shift the proportion of people favouring any given candidate by m

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      "Terrifying" is right. What the approach used by Facebook's is clearly doing is creating an echo chamber so people mostly only get to see views that match their own, with all that entails for producing a skewed outlook on the world that is mostly based on the misperception that the overwhelming majority takes a similar view. Interestingly, it's not just happening on the conventional social media sites; there's a similar thing going on over on the BBC news site at the moment - in particular around the UK's
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @11:03AM (#52201383) Homepage Journal

    Some people are even getting news from sites like Slashdot, though there's some dispute as whether that counts as social media or antisocial media.

  • It's easy to believe you're getting diverse perspectives when you see stories on Facebook.

    It is if you're so dumb that you didn't hear of cyberbalkanisation and similar theories a decade ago.

  • That explains why the main choices for President will be Trump and Clinton. Neither of these people would be elected dog catcher in a society that was actually paying attention and applying critical thought.

    • I'll go further and say that applies to Congress, state governments, county governments and even down to city governments. They're either corrupt, incompetent, or both.

      They say you get the government you deserve. I think the article explains a lot.
      • They say you get the government you deserve.

        That's because most people don't bother to vote. The 2014 election had the lowest national voter turnout in 72 years with 36% of registered voters casting a vote. A minority of citizens are deciding the government for the majority of citizens.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You're confusing cause and effect. The average citizen is well aware that their vote is meaningless.

          • The average citizen is well aware that their vote is meaningless.

            Hence, they get the government that they deserve.

            • by rsborg ( 111459 )

              The average citizen is well aware that their vote is meaningless.

              Hence, they get the government that they deserve.

              You forget the scrubbing of the voter registration that is happening constantly - in which case, we're getting the government that the government thinks we deserve. Sound about right?

              [1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/ne... [wsj.com]

              • You forget the scrubbing of the voter registration that is happening constantly - in which case, we're getting the government that the government thinks we deserve. Sound about right?

                That goes back to not having enough people showing up to vote. Some countries require every eligible citizen to cast a vote or face a fine. If citizens got penalized for not voting, they would certainly keep an eye on the political process. With a 30% voter turnout in the US, no one cares.

  • Funny, they don't seem to be paying attention to the fact I haven't viewed my 'timeline' in years, because they manipulate it. Looks like the algorithm needs some tweaking..
  • by Livius ( 318358 )

    It's easy to believe you're getting diverse perspectives when you see stories on Facebook

    I have to disagree. It takes a certain amount of active disregard for reality to confuse Facebook with a diversity of opinion. The fact that 'like' is not the same as 'dislike' is not a difficult concept.

    Of course, wilful blindness does come easily to some people, but I still think 'easy' is not the right word.

    Maybe they think it's easy because the "journalist" is in his own confirmation bias bubble.

  • Less than 1 in 5 'often' get their news on social media. It's likely the rest simply scan and occasionally bite on some of the clickbait headlines thrust in front of them - which today counts as news.
  • This is no different then people getting their dietary requirements from fast food restaurants.
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @11:52AM (#52201583)
    Most of my friends find news that reinforces their view of the world, never seeking out news that might challenge their viewpoints or require that they think. Take the 2016 election. There are plenty of emotional reasons to support Hillary, Bernie or Trump. But if you the analyze past elections, the 2008, 2012 and 2016 electoral maps, and fundraising capabilities, Hillary is going to win the White House with the least effort because all the numbers are in her favor.
  • by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Saturday May 28, 2016 @12:35PM (#52201715)

    Media have always provided what the masses want to see. Not only tabloids (which only makes the skewed reporting more visible), not only politically motivated publications but even media that intends to provide unbiased facts. Until we can create real AI with no bias to do our reporting can we expect that to change - all humans are biased, at best we can be aware of that and try to mitigate somewhat.

    But even when we have AIs we will still get biased reporting. That's the way we want it - that's the way we gonna get it.

  • You mean people use teh interweb to get news?? Hell, I wish I'd thought of this novel idea so I could patent it.

    "A means of obtaining information about current events by using an information-dissemination network" - PATENTED, BABY!

  • FTFA:

    Facebook shows you what it thinks you'll be interested in.

    As opposed to Huff Post which shows you what it wants you to think, same as all the other media outlets like NYT, Fox, USA Today, Vox, etc.

  • This thread got me thinking. I spend too much time gathering news and I haven't given it enough thought to do it efficiently. Here are some questions I'm struggling to answer now:

    What is news? How can we benefit from news? What is the best way to find beneficial news? Is dramatic news more important than routine news about government & business? Is sports and entertainment a valuable part of news? How much time should be devoted to keeping up with news? How can news prepare people for elections? How muc

  • Facebook is modern gossip, and I'm pretty sure > 60% of people have gotten their news through gossip for all of human history.
    • In social primate troops everyone watches everyone else as much as possible. Then they regulate hierachy and economic sharing. Gossip is for filling in the details when some members go out of view for a while. Maybe some have gone off hunting or foraging. Or visiting relatives in another troop. News is distilled gossip.
  • Okay, I can see FB, maybe, because people post articles on there and maybe you trust your friends more than the networks to curate your news for you...but Instagram? Isn't that just a photo sharing service? Are the people you follow posting photos of news events, or is this just for 'local' news (like OMG HUGE BURGERZZ HERE! CHECK IT OUT!!!)?

    (Don't know, don't use either service, although have seen more FB pages than Instagram pages...)

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