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U.S. voters trust social media as much as traditional outlets for political news, survey says

Source: Mashable

Voters trust social media as much as traditional news outlets for their political news, according to a new survey.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, Politico reported a survey from George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management/ORI shows that political news shared on social media is just as well regarded as traditional news outlets like radio, television and print. 

According to survey, 71 percent of voters 25 and younger said they had the same or a higher level of trust about political news on social media, reported Politico. Older Americans were more skeptical, with only 36 percent calling it a trustworthy news source. 

John Kagia, director of strategy and insight at ORI, told Politico that the speed with which bad information is debunked on social media helps its reputation as a reliable source for information. 

Kagia also said that social media’s personal connection helps it build credibility with users, “We’re seeing when this content is being posted by people you know, you’re more likely to trust it.”

President Barack Obama, who took the oath of office Monday, Jan. 21, was a pioneer of social media in political campaigns. According to the survey, more respondents saw news about Obama shared on their social networks than the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.  

Traditional media also took to social networks during the 2012 campaign, using Google+ Hangouts, Foursquare, YouTube and other platforms to share their political coverage.  

Facebook was the most popular social network, with 74 percent of respondents saying they use the platform, followed by LinkedIn at 32 percent, and Twitter at 24 percent. While most of the people surveyed said they used computers for social media, there was an uptick in mobile use. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said they access social media on a smartphone, up from 37 percent in 2011. 

The online survey sampled 806 Internet users and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percent, according to Politico. 


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