Pew: GOP & Dems Agree -- Both Distrust Social Media for Politics, News

February 5th, 2020 4:42 PM

Republicans and Democrats do not tend to agree on a much these days, but both sides of the aisle have come together to agree on at least one thing -- neither trusts Big Tech.

Pew Research Center reported Jan. 29 on a survey of “12,043 U.S. adults who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel conducted from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11, 2019”  showing the mutual distrust of Silicon Valley’s social media giants. And from YouTube to Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, what is clear is that a majority of both the left and right side of the political spectrum do not trust social media companies when it comes to politics and election news.

Pew wrote in its report, “[B]oth Democrats and Republicans (including independents who lean toward either party) -- in an unusual display of bipartisan convergence -- register far more distrust than trust of social media sites as sources for political and election news.”

In the survey, respondents were asked to select whether they trusted or distrusted six different social media sites and apps, including: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Reddit.  The three most distrusted among the social media landscape were Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“Indeed, Facebook, the most widely used of the six social media sites examined when it comes to getting political and election news,” acknowledged Pew, “is distrusted by about six-in-ten U.S. adults (59%).” Both Democrats and independents who lean Democratic (59%) and Republicans and independents who lean Republican (62%) distrust Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s social media site. Nearly half (48%) of U.S. adults say they distrust Twitter also, and forty-two percent (42%) say they distrust Instagram.

Rounding out the six social media companies included in the survey: thirty six percent (36%) said they distrust YouTube, while twenty four percent (24%) said they distrust Reddit and eighteen percent (18%) said they distrust LinkedIn.

Pew’s survey did show that Democrats and independents that lean Democratic were less likely to distrust the six social media giants, with Facebook (59%), Twitter (46%), Instagram (41%), YouTube (34%), Reddit (24%) and LinkedIn (16%) receiving smaller percentages from those respondents than from their Republican and independents that lean Republican counterparts. Republican/Lean Republican respondents said they distrust the six social media companies as follows: Facebook (62%), Twitter (51%), Instagram (45%), YouTube (40%), Reddit (25%) and LinkedIn (21%).