Tag Archives: pew

We are no more likely to express our personal opinions on social media as we are in real life interactions


Many urban liberals have experienced what it’s like to visit relatives in conservative rural areas and, in group settings, abstain from expressing any political opinions that don’t correlate with the views held by the group. It’s typically called the “spiral of science,” and the Pew Research Internet Project found that this trend extends to social media:

Overall, the findings indicate that in the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions and debate issues. Further, if people thought their friends and followers in social media disagreed with them, they were less likely to say they would state their views on the Snowden-NSA story online and in other contexts, such as gatherings of friends, neighbors, or co-workers. This suggests a spiral of silence might spill over from online contexts to in-person contexts, though our data cannot definitively demonstrate this causation. It also might mean that the broad awareness social media users have of their networks might make them more hesitant to speak up because they are especially tuned into the opinions of those around them.


Readers that come to your homepage are still way more valuable than those referred through social or search

Pew found that users who arrive at the 26 news sites studied directly spend about three times as long there as opposed to users who arrive via Facebook or a search engine. (By “directly” the study means arriving by typing in the URL or going to a bookmark — or, technically, with arriving without a referer.) Direct visitors also view about five times as many pages per month and visit a news site about three times as often as users coming from Facebook or search.

Readers who still click bookmarks are more loyal customers for news sites than Facebook flybys