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How Politically Divided Are Social Media Networks?

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

Social media has the reputation of being a battlefield of political ideology, with the political left and right in constant conflict on networks like Twitter or Facebook. But do people further on the left or on the right really prefer social media more than centrists? And does political affiliation have an influence on someone’s preferred social media network?

Some answers to these questions can be gleaned from the Statista Consumer Insights survey when cross-referencing preference for the use of social media with participants' self-reported political orientation.

According to the results, there are no major gaps in preference for most social media platforms among Americans, but there are some interesting differences. Facebook is the platform where centrists feel most at home. The group tends to stay away more from other social media than those who see themselves as more distinctly on the right or on the left politically. While Facebook is somewhat underused by those on the left, if only by a small margin, TikTok and Instagram are the networks with the most equal left-right distribution.

On Twitter, partisanism is the most pronounced, with somewhat more use by those on the right. Linkedin also shows slightly more use from this group, while the opposite is true on another less used network, Reddit. The results of this survey suggest that political stance has only very limited influence on social media use. There are differences, but they are only by a few percentage points and should therefore not be interpreted too strongly.

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