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Most Americans Still Get News From Social Media, But Many Question Its Accuracy

Most Americans Still Get News From Social Media, But Many Question Its Accuracy

Even as the Facebook, Inc.(NASDAQ: FB)-Cambridge Analytica scandal created serious distrust among users of social media, a recent study by Pew Research Center showed a majority of users still source news from social media, although they question the veracity.

The findings are based on a panel wave conducted among 4,581 respondents between July 20 and Aug. 12.

News On Social Media

The survey showed that about two-thirds of American adults or about 68 percent get news at least occasionally on social media. This was almost unchanged from last year's 67 percent.

About one-in-five use social media news as a news source very often.

Facebook is the preferred social media news source, with 43 percent accessing news from this avenue, while 12 percent get news from YouTube and 12 percent from Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR).

Interestingly, Reddit tops the list when it comes to the highest proportion of the users exposed to news (73 percent) compared to 71 percent for Twitter and 67 percent for Facebook.

"The prominence of each social media site in the news ecosystem depends on two factors: its overall popularity and the extent to which people see news on the site," Pew Research said.

Missing Trust

Although news sourcing from social media has been on the rise, not many consider the news to be accurate.

Pew Research's study showed that 57 percent of the people surveyed consider the news they see on social media to be inaccurate.

Some of the mistrust may have to do with revelations that Russians used social media to spread malicious information in a bid to sway the U.S. presidential elections of 2016.

An analysis across party lines showed that 72 percent of the Republicans view social-media sourced news to be inaccurate compared to 46 percent of Democrats.

That said, most social media consumers said getting news on social media hasn't made any difference in their understanding of current events, with most saying it has helped rather than confused.

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