Are Twitter and Facebook liberal or conservative? – Deseret News

Posted: January 19, 2022 at 11:05 am

If politics ever seems a bit extreme online, its not just you.

Social media is skewed to the furthest ends of the political spectrum, according to new Pew Research Center polling, with the most conservative and liberal users more likely to post about politics online than moderates.

Pew classified U.S. adults into nine political typologies and found that Americans on the furthest ends of their spectrum, the Progressive Left and Faith and Flag Conservatives, were the most likely to show support for a political campaign or candidate on social media. Those more in the middle the Stressed Sideliners, Ambivalent Right and Outsider Left were less likely to do so.

The findings matched other Pew polling showing those on the ends are more likely to have voted, donated to a candidate or political group or attend a campaign event in 2020. These are the true believers.

Add these politically active users posts to a newsfeed powered by engagement metrics and algorithms, and you have a recipe for social media that over-indexes the fringes. Meanwhile, those in the middle dont post about politics as much.

Americas center doesnt fit neatly into the current party system. Stressed Sideliners are defined by their mix of conservative and liberal views and low political engagement. The largest group in the Democratic Party is Democratic Mainstays who lean to the center on some issues, while the Outsider Left is very liberal and frustrated with the Democratic Party. The Ambivalent Right is the youngest and least conservative Republican group, and theyre also post-Trump, with most preferring former President Donald Trump not continue as a major political figure.

These groups sound as if theyre experiencing a degree of political homelessness, just dont expect them to share a status update about it. Pew found that those with moderate views were more likely to feel reluctant to post about politics on social media.

The truth is that most people simply dont share political content online. Seventy percent of Americans say they post about political or social issues rarely or never.

There are a lot reasons people dont talk about politics online. Some respondents told Pew they dont pay close attention or dont have anything to add. Others are worried theyll offend others or be attacked for their views. A third of those who rarely or never post about politics said they dont want the things they share used against them.

Social media is home to Americans most partisan and politically engaged, and its impossible to understand political culture today without acknowledging the role it plays. Still, its also not the full story. If you ever log on and feel as though your political beliefs arent shared, just know everyone who shares them is probably just lurking.

The true silent majority is the people who arent posting.

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Are Twitter and Facebook liberal or conservative? - Deseret News

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