Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Social Media and Politics

A new Pew Report, high points here, notes that 18% of social networking site users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone because of their political comments.  Liberals are more likely to do this than conservatives, 28-16. Moderates less.  Fascinating report.

I think that would be me, were I a user, having much opportunity to feel hurt because some friend tossed me over.  But it wouldn't be because of anything I brought to the conversation - it would be my response to what someone else brought.  I'm not good at staying away from that stuff.  I seem to believe strongly that wrongness needs reply.

It doesn't, not always.  Perhaps almost never.

HT: Volokh


james said...

On those occasions when I read Facebook I'm sometimes led to wonder whether the vast proportion of political posts is a sign of what they build their lives around, or if it is a sort of heartbeat signal--"I'm still here and I'm still in the tribe."

Sort of like Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress: "In Eschropolis, indeed, it is impossible (to be in doubt), for the people who live there have to give an opinion once a week or once a day, or else Mr. Mammon would soon cut off their food."

And if the heartbeat signal from the sensor drops out, an alarm goes up...

Donna B. said...

I've only 'unfriended' one person on Facebook -- my sister.

And that was entirely about politics.

I love my sister and we still talk on the phone, email occasionally, and she's slowly recovering from her immersion into progressive politics.

Liberals can be reasonable, progressives cannot.

bs king said...

Of note, this survey appears to have been done recently. I'm wondering if that accounts for the discrepancy between conservatives getting blocked more than liberals. It seems during a year when the Republican primary is the big thing going that Republicans actually might be more annoying until they decide and then things will even out.

I'd just be curious to see the ebb and flow of blocking/hiding/unfriending and if it correlates to who's dominating the news, or if liberals just have a harder time seeing dissenting opinions show up.

I've currently done well at deleting people until I only have people I consider actual friends left, so most stuff they post is at least moderately interesting to me.

Texan99 said...

I never "unfriend" anyone, but there are posts I don't bother to read.

Texan99 said...

I never "unfriend" anyone, but there are posts I don't bother to read.