Social media users shy away from opinions

People who use Facebook and Twitter are less likely than others to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.
AP Wire
Aug 28, 2014

 

The study challenges the view of social media as a vehicle for debate by suggesting that sites like Facebook and Twitter might actually encourage self-censorship. Researchers said they detect what they call the "spiral of silence" phenomenon: Unless people know their audience agrees, they are likely to shy away from discussing anything controversial.

In other words, most of us are more comfortable with ice-bucket challenges than political banter.

"People do not tend to be using social media for this type of important political discussion. And if anything, it may actually be removing conversation from the public sphere," said Keith Hampton, a communications professor at Rutgers University who helped conduct the study.

The survey was conducted shortly after Edward Snowden acknowledged leaking classified intelligence that exposed widespread government surveillance of Americans' phone and email records. Hampton said the Snowden case provided researchers with a concrete example of a major national issue that divided Americans and dominated news coverage.

Of the 1,801 adults surveyed, 86 percent they would be willing to discuss their views about government surveillance if it came up at various in-person scenarios, such as at a public meeting, at work or at a restaurant with friends. But just 42 percent of Facebook or Twitter users said they would be willing to post online about it.

What's more, the typical Facebook user — someone who logs onto the site a few times per day — was actually half as likely to discuss the Snowden case at a public meeting as a non-Facebook user. Someone who goes on Twitter a few times per day was one-quarter as likely to share opinions in the workplace compared with those who never use Twitter.

Only when a person felt that their Facebook network agreed with their opinion were they twice as likely to join a site discussion on the issue, the survey found.

Another finding was that social media didn't make it easier for people to share opinions they wouldn't otherwise share. Of the 14 percent of Americans unwilling to discuss the Snowden case with others in person, fewer than one-half of 1 percent were willing to discuss it on social media.

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center Internet Project, said it's possible that social media actually sensitize people to different opinions.

"Because they use social media, they may know more about the depth of disagreement over the issue in their wide circle of contacts," he said. "This might make them hesitant to speak up either online or offline for fear of starting an argument, offending or even losing a friend."

While many people might say keeping political debate off Facebook is a matter of tact, Hampton said there is a concern that a person's fear of offending someone on social media stifles debate.

"A society where people aren't able to share their opinions openly and gain from understanding alternative perspectives is a polarized society," he said.

 

Comments

skyking007

There are some people who don't like their opinions fact checked. The truth is out there and the lies people believe are soon revealed. Many sites call you a troll if you differ from there philosophy. America should wake up before We find ourselves owned by Big business,or the radicals that want to make America like the middle east, where everyone has a Gun and the Government tells you what to believe.

Grassyass

Believe it or not, some believe that you can't have a conversation about important issues facing our nation. That would be "racist". They'd rather we all just get in line behind dear leader with our blinders and muzzles on. Baaaahaaaa. Sheeple. NOT!

AnonGHOPS

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"

-Samuel Adams

AnonGHOPS

Tell Our Mothers We Are Only Trying to Fight the Government (hehe)

Anonymous - Spread the Lulz
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AnonGHOPS

Anonymous- Call To Action Operation NSA #OpNSA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

MALO PERICULOSAM LIBERTATEM QUAM QUIETUM SERVITIUM

AnonGHOPS

When the powers that be say "truth"... what do you see?
We see Fascists!

AnonGHOPS

We Say… Troll the NSA, Because They Sure As Hell Are Trolling YOU!
Anonymous - #OpAnonLulz (Government Jokes Edition)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

skyking007

Racists don't like to be called Racists. The truth will overcome in time. How many People must die before the people are heard?

skyking007

1

AnonGHOPS

It was more than just 1, but 1 was more than enough.

#OpFerguson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

#FergusonDemands
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

MALO PERICULOSAM LIBERTATEM QUAM QUIETUM SERVITIUM

AnonGHOPS

Solidarity From Our Fellow Anons in the United Kingdom… Go Social Media!

Stand By [Ferguson] - Music Video - Anonymous UK Solidarity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

Our First Post On Facebook:

Anonymous GHOPS
May 21 [2014]

The OperaKips here at GHOPS have decided... though we dislike Facebook, & we despise its' position in "Big Brothers" toolbox, we also must (reluctantly) recognize its' place in social media. Therefore we will expect to be watched by alphabet agencies if it means getting the message out. We hope our brothers & sisters at the NSA/FBI/CIA/NCSD/GCHQ/etc. enjoy our adventure in freedom. Tell your colleagues Anonymous always has room for more! Do not forget "...the truth will make you free". Big shout out to CoIntelPro, we can't stop you from wasting your time. Information wants to be free... so it shall be.

Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Anonymo...

AnonGHOPS

We were watching to see if this article was correct... not much commenting...

Come on Grand Haven! WAKE UP!

Much respect to "skyking007" & "Grassyass" for having that good old AMERICAN SPIRIT! We salute you.

Thanks to the GHT for re-posting AP's article.

AnonGHOPS

MALO PERICULOSAM LIBERTATEM QUAM QUIETUM SERVITIUM

AnonGHOPS

Want Great Reporting on the NSA & Other Issues Which Rarely Make Mainstream Media?

Checkout “The Intercept”:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/

AnonGHOPS

Can the NSA hack your car? Ask the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). See the video below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

The NSA is in Direct Violation of OUR Human Rights & is Destroying OUR Democracy!

Don’t Believe US? Read This Report From The Human Rights Watch & The ACLU:

With Liberty to Monitor All
How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/...

AnonGHOPS

Why Should You Care About Mass Surveillance? Watch This:

Reclaim Our Privacy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

So Much Win!

AnonGHOPS

Freedom Forever!

Twitter on the commodore 64
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. .....

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”

-Joseph “Buster” Keaton

From: http://www.sweetspeeches.com/s/2...
“In his film, The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin gives a famous speech on the hope for humanity. The film was made and the speech thus written at the time of Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany, but its relevance is timeless.”

AnonGHOPS

You won't be able to use your sweet social media if the government gives the internet to the corporations! You have until September 10th to contact the FCC & tell them to re-classify our ISP's as "Common Carriers". Contact them here: OpenInternet@FCC.gov

Don't know what we are talking about? Watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

The NSA knew about & was watching the 9/11 hijackers for years before they attacked. Some of the hijackers even took up an apartment down the road from NSA Headquarters. Yet they did nothing, NOTHING to stop them! Don’t believe us? Ask PBS.

PBS: Nova: The Spy Factory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

AnonGHOPS

We oppose censorship. We value democracy. In the name of humanity, if you agree with us please share this article:
http://www.grandhaventribune.com...

We Are Anonymous.
We Are Legion.
We Do Not Forgive.
We Do Not Forget.
Expect Us.

 

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