More people in the United States turn to Facebook for their political fix than the nation’s biggest and most influential newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post.
But a just-released study of American news reading habits also found that Facebook is the most distrusted social media source of political news by both Democrats and Republicans.
In a poll of 12,043, 25% said they go to Facebook for their news about politics. For the New York Times, it was 20%, and for the Washington Post 17%, the same as YouTube.
Still, cable and the Big Three networks are the nation’s dominant news sources.
While virtually every person is familiar with and uses Facebook, Pew Research Center’s survey found that just 15% of adults trust the news they read on the website. A huge 59% “distrust” the political news on the site. That is the highest for all top social media sites.
“Facebook, the most widely used of the six social media sites examined when it comes to getting political and election news, is distrusted by about six-in-ten U.S. adults (59%). That includes almost equal percentages of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic (59%) and Republicans and independents who lean Republican (62%). Close to half of all U.S. adults also say they distrust Twitter (48%), and about four-in-ten (42%) distrust Instagram,” said Pew in the survey that is part of its new “Election News Pathways” project.
But Pew found a caveat: Those who said they got “most” of their news from social media sites generally trusted what they saw.
And, said the Pew survey shared with Secrets, “The greater trust among this group in social media generally as a place for political news also plays out in less concern about made-up news and information during the 2020 election season — an issue that is often associated with social media.”