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The Reckoning for Social Media

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Lee Rainie, Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center, delivered this keynote speech at the New Media and Society conference in Toronto on July 29, 2017. He discussed eight changes in the information ecosystem that are making this a particularly challenging moment for social media proponents and those who advocate for the internet and how citizens are trying to navigate the challenging world of “fake news” and “truthiness” on social media. He examined the impact of these challenges on the way that people’s trust in information sources is shifting.

Publicado en: Redes sociales
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The Reckoning for Social Media

  1. 1. The Reckoning for Social Media Lee Rainie - @lrainie Director Internet and Technology Research at PRC Social Media and Society – Toronto July 29, 2017
  2. 2. Some of our recent findings
  3. 3. August 1, 2017 www.pewresearch.org 5
  4. 4. Trump job rating at historic low Presidential job approval (%) 6August 1, 2017 Source: Survey conducted April 5-11, 2017.
  5. 5. August 1, 2017 7 Wider partisan divide in Trump’s early job ratings Presidential job approval (%) Source: Survey conducted April 5-11, 2017. 75 points
  6. 6. 8/1/2017 8
  7. 7. August 1, 2017 9
  8. 8. U.S. Muslims Are Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream
  9. 9. Information revolutions are like avalanches
  10. 10. “We are today as far into the electric age as the Elizabethans had advanced into the typographical and mechanical age. And we are experiencing the same confusions and indecisions which they had felt when living simultaneously in two contrasted forms of society and experience.” -- Marshall McLuhan – Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)
  11. 11. Elizabeth Eisenstein Folklore Witchcraft Alchemy
  12. 12. Today Trolls Fake news Weaponized information
  13. 13. John Naughton
  14. 14. The Weaponized Narrative Initiative
  15. 15. Team Deibert
  16. 16. State of social media (mid-2016 data) 69% of U.S. adults use social media 68% use Facebook 28% use Instagram 26% use Pinterest 25% use Linked In 21% use Twitter -------------------------------- 29% of smartphone owners use messaging apps like WhatsApp or Kik 24% use auto-delete apps like Snapchat or Wickr 5% use apps that allow people to post anonymously like YikYak
  17. 17. Substantial ‘reciprocity’ across major social media platforms % of users of each social media site who use another social media site Use Twitter Use Instagram Use Pinterest Use LinkedIn Use Facebook % of Twitter users who … -- 65% 48% 54% 93% % of Instagram users who … 49 -- 54 48 95 % of Pinterest users who … 38 57 -- 41 92 % of LinkedIn users who … 45 53 43 -- 89 % of Facebook users who … 29 39 36 33 -- Source: Survey conducted March 7-April 4, 2016. “Social Media Update 2016” PEW RESEARCH CENTER 0
  18. 18. Reasons for the reckoning 1) Environment of “total noise” spreads confusion and mistrust 2) Hyper-partisan climate has intensified and invaded personal interactions 3) Balkanized media ecosystem proliferates info options 4) Users are emotionally disinhibited and harassment increases 5) Anti-social pathologies have multiplied 6) “Attention economy” platforms incentivize outrage, extremism 7) Bots can play the game, too 8) It’s becoming clear that many don’t want to engage – emotionally and/or technically
  19. 19. 1) Environment of “total noise” spreads confusion and mistrust “That’s … the sound of our U.S. culture right now, a culture and volume of info and spin and rhetoric and context that I know I’m not alone in finding too much to even absorb, much less to try to make sense of or organize into any kind of triage of saliency or value…. To really try to be informed and literate today is to feel stupid nearly all the time, and to need help.” -- David Foster Wallace – Deciderization 2007: A Special Report (in “The Best American Essays 2007)
  20. 20. 24 The abundance of information has confused people as much as it’s enlightened them 22 38 16 23 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Very well Somewhat well Not too well Not well at all I find it difficult to know whether the information I find online is trustworthy % who say this statement describes them…
  21. 21. Fake news is seen as a problem
  22. 22. People’s trust in various sources of information 3 14 17 18 18 24 39 40 31 54 48 54 43 58 44 38 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Info on social media Info from financial institutions Info from national news organizations Info from local news organizations Info from government sources Info from family and friends Info from health care providers Information from local public library a lot some
  23. 23. 26% of Americans have had false information posted about them
  24. 24. 2) Hyper-partisan climate has intensified and invaded personal interactions
  25. 25. Democrats and Republicans more ideologically divided and ‘purified’ than in the past Distribution of Democrats and Republicans on a 10-item scale of political values
  26. 26. Ideological polarization in the American public It was 64% and 70%, respectively, in 1994!
  27. 27. Most say Clinton, Trump supporters cannot agree even on ‘basic facts’ On important issues facing the country, most Trump and Clinton supporters … (%)
  28. 28. Affective polarization also much stronger now 36% of Republicans see Democrats as a threat to the nation’s well being 27% of Democrats see Republican s as a threat to the nation’s well being
  29. 29. Negative stereotypes about the ‘other side’
  30. 30. A year before election, most felt like ‘their side’ was losing more often than winning in politics On issues that matter to you in politics today, has your side been winning or losing more often? (%)
  31. 31. Partisans want to live with others who share their political views
  32. 32. 3) Balkanized media ecosystem proliferates info options
  33. 33. Consistent Liberals & Conservatives Often Live in Different Media Worlds
  34. 34. Little Overlap in the Sources Trusted for Political News
  35. 35. Public Trust in Government: 1958-2015 Trust the federal government to do what is right just about always/most of the time
  36. 36. Both Parties Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Public’s Potential Wisdom % very great/good deal of trust and confidence in political wisdom of American people
  37. 37. 4) Users are emotionally disinhibited and harassment increases
  38. 38. 41% have personally experience online harassment (66% have witnessed it)
  39. 39. Harassment reasons 14% 9 8 8 5 3 3 1 Political views Physical appearance Gender Race/ethnicity Religion Sexual orientation Occupation Disability
  40. 40. Social media is the most common venue for online harassment (most recent episode)
  41. 41. 5) Anti-social pathologies have multiplied
  42. 42. August 1, 2017 51www.pewresearch.org
  43. 43. Public awareness of kinds of harassment 58% 42 17 9 29 30 33 22 8 14 24 24 5 13 26 44 Hacking Trolling Doxing Swatting A great deal Some A little None
  44. 44. 6) “Attention economy” platforms incentivize outrage, extremism
  45. 45. www.pewresearch.org
  46. 46. 7) “Bots can play the game, too
  47. 47. 8) It’s becoming clear that many don’t want to engage – emotionally and/or technically
  48. 48. More than a third are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter
  49. 49. Many users see social media as an especially negative venue for political discussions compared with face-to-face
  50. 50. The state of play in social networks: Echo and empty chambers 4% of SM users (2% of adults) are at least somewhat orienting their networks like echo chambers 28% of SM users (14% of adults) have either added or trimmed their network because of political content 22% of SM users (12% of adults) live in networks where they hear at least some/most political material they agree with 44% of SM users (24% of adults) have very light exchanges over politics 22% of SM users (12% of adults) are a “captive audience” whose network delivers political material but they don’t 9% of SM users (5% of adults) have no politics going on in their networks 36% of all adults have no connection to the SM world of politics
  51. 51. Information wary ~ quarter of population People with relatively low levels of interest in information. Very low levels of trust in information sources. They do not exhibit much interest in acquiring digital skills or the wherewithal to determine what information is trustworthy.
  52. 52. Information wary ~ quarter of population Demographics Male dominated Tilts white Tilts older Non-parents of minors
  53. 53. The Doubtful ~ quarter of population This group has fairly typical levels of interest in information (just below average) and visit the library on par with others. Yet they have low levels of trust in info sources (especially national / local news organizations).
  54. 54. The Doubtful ~ quarter of population ---- (2) They are also much more likely than average to say they are often trying to do two or more things at once and less likely than others to say it is easy for them to relax. Have little interest in improving their information literacy.
  55. 55. The Doubtful ~ quarter of population Demographics Tilts male Middle-aged Tilts to better off HH Tilts suburban
  56. 56. How the public hopes it can get better
  57. 57. Who has a major role to play in addressing online harassment? 64% 60 49 32 22% 28 36 40 6% 5 8 21 A major role A minor role No role Online services Witnesses to this behavior Law enforcement Elected officials
  58. 58. Better tech tools and stronger laws are the top choices % who say the most effective way to address online harassment is … % of U.S. adults who say people being harassed or bullied online is …
  59. 59. Large majority support online platforms intervening when harassment occurs
  60. 60. Divisions about the balance between free speech and making others feel welcome online 45 56 36 64 41 53 34 53 43 63 35 57 46 65 All adults Men Women Men 18-29 Women 18-29 Men 30+ Women 30+ Speak minds freely Feel welcome and safe
  61. 61. August 1, 2017
  62. 62. www.pewresearch.org
  63. 63. What people say they want/need Smart allies (diversity really helps) Improved curators Proof of authenticity Transparency Just-in-time help in decision making More training on tech use and information literacy Organizations that will help and protect them (esp. when it comes to privacy/security)
  64. 64. August 1, 2017 75www.pewresearch.org Thank you! Email: lrainie@pewresearch.org Twitter: @lrainie @pewinternet @pewresearch

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