August 14, 2012

Users of Social Networking Sites Find Surprises about Friends’ Politics

38%

Nearly four-in-ten (38%) of social networking site users have discovered through their friends’ postings that their political beliefs were different than they thought

Social networking sites have become places where political conversation, debate, and proselytizing occur, especially during campaign seasons. It turns out that postings on social media reveal surprises for many users when it comes to discovering the political views of their friends. We asked all the social media users in our survey whether they have ever learned that someone’s beliefs were different than they thought based on something they posted on the sites. Some 38% of those users said they had made that discovery and 60% said they had not.

Democrats, liberals, and people with very conservative views were more likely than others to say that they had been surprised about someone’s views as they were expressed on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

One-in-ten said they have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because that person posted too frequently about political subjects. About the same number (9%) have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics or issues that they disagreed with or found offensive, and 8% have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they argued about political issues on the site with the user or someone the user knows. Read More