Social media and American politics: study

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16:10, October 22 2012

As the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election has become one of the most social media oriented elections in American history, Pew research releases stats on how Americans use social media to express their political views.

The new survey by Pew research reveals that 39% of American adults have used social media to do at least one of eight political or civic activities.

Younger users however were found to be more likely to post their thoughts on policies and links to material than those who were 50 and older.

Pew research found that 35% of social media users use it to encourage others to vote.

Democrats were found to express their thoughts on social media platforms more than Republicans.

42% of Democrats used social media to encourage others to vote, followed by 36% of Republicans and 31% of independent social media users.

Pew Research

"The social media users who talk about politics on a regular basis are the most likely to use social media for civic or political purposes," said Pew research. "The social media users who have firmer party and ideological ties -- liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans -- are, at times, more likely than moderates in both parties to use social media for these purposes."

Republicans were also found to be more likely to spread political or social content posted by someone with 39% doing so.

Over 20% of American adults on social networking sites or Twitter were found to be in a group that involved political or social issues.

Over 30% of adults who said they were conservative Republicans were found to use social media the most to follow officials, with only 27% of liberal Democrats using social media sites to follow officials.

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