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In a country that often seems so polarized by politics, Pew Research Center’s study offers a bit of comfort by demonstrating SNS users with different views can, in fact, get along. Only 25% of respondents stated they always or mostly agree with their friends’ political posts, while 73% stated they only sometimes or never agree with their friends’ posts. In addition, only 18% of SNS users have shunned someone who had different views. The most popular reason wasn’t because they were offended or disagreed, but simply because they posted too frequently.
There is also a significant portion of SNS users who purposely censor themselves to avoid offending or upsetting other others. Pew found that 22% of users think social media sites are not the appropriate forum for political discussion, and of this 22%, 59% identified as liberal or very liberal, 18% as moderate, and 51% as conservative or very conservative.
Overall this study suggests that political ideology is not a determining factor in forging new relationships, and may also suggest SNS users are simply not that passionate about politics.
Raini, L. & Smith, A. (March 2012). Social Networking Sites and Politics. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Social-networking-and-politics.aspx
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