[IN DEPTH] Public attitudes toward political engagement on social media

A picture shows the messages ‘#Me too’. /Photo- BERTRAND GUAY/AFP:Getty Images

 

A majority of Americans think social media are important for getting elected officials to pay attention to issues or for initiating sustained social movements

By Monica Anderson, Skye Toor, Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith | Pew Resarch Center

Social media use has grown rapidly over the last decade. Today, Americans use a range of social media sites and are increasingly turning to these platforms to get news and information. Social networking sites have also emerged as a key venue for political debate and discussion and at times a place to engage in civic-related activities.

One of the most prominent recent examples is the role social media has played in the emergence of the “Me Too” movement aimed at raising awareness around sexual harassment and assault. And July 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, one of the most sustained efforts during this time to bring attention to a cause using social media platforms. In light of these and other debates about the impact of social media, the Center fielded a survey to assess the current state of

Americans’ experiences with and views related to political engagement on social media.

Around half of Americans have engaged in some form of political or social-minded activity on social media in the past year

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