The declining public trust in the news media and polarization of news audiences have profound effects on civic life.
Here is how the average adult Twitter user in the U.S. tweeted about the news in 2021, as well as how these patterns have changed since 2015.
Fully 70% of U.S. adult Twitter news consumers say they have used Twitter to follow live news events, up from 59% who said this in 2015.
About half (48%) of U.S. adults say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” a 5 percentage point decline compared with 2020. More than half of Twitter users get news on the site regularly.
Roughly half of Americans say that they have been getting some (30%) or a lot (18%) of news and info about COVID-19 vaccines on social media.
Americans inhabited different information environments, with wide gaps in how they viewed the election and COVID-19.
About half of U.S. adults say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” and this use is spread out across a number of different sites. Facebook stands out as a regular source of news for about a third of Americans.
Videos from independent news producers are more likely to cover subjects negatively and discuss conspiracy theories.
U.S. adults in this group are less likely to get the facts right about COVID-19 and politics and more likely to hear some unproven claims.
In March 2020, about three-quarters (74%) of public Facebook posts about COVID-19 linked to news organizations, while just 1% linked to health and science sites.