A new study by Pew Research finds consumers are concerned about the influence of social media on news coverage. The biggest concerns of the more than 5,000 people surveyed? The negative impact social media has on news content, including bias, sensationalism, and the level of control wielded by the platforms. Here are some interesting stats:
- 80% said social media platforms treat media outlets differently with biased algorithms being a major concern.
- 88% said social media favors news outlets with sensationalist content.
- 62% said social media has too much control over the news.
- 28% say they often get news from social platforms.
Why does it matter? Social media platforms reward sensationalism, which causes media outlets to post divisive content strictly designed to get clicks and likes. Balanced, factual news is largely ignored as it doesn’t get the rabid reactions of sensationalist headlines. In the meantime, minds are being filled with lies, innuendo, and hearsay rather than actual information.
No wonder social media news stories are called click bait. No wonder rational people don’t trust the media. It doesn’t bode well for media companies, social media platforms or PR professionals if we don’t take control of our news.
For more on the Pew Research study, find the article here>