Facebook, Twitter are still the leading social media sites where people get news

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Angela Lang / CNET

According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, about half of adults in the US say they “sometimes” or “often” receive messages from social media sites. While this number (48%) is slightly lower than last year, it could be cause for concern Social Media Vulnerability to Misinformation.

The new data, released Monday by Pew, contains some interesting finds. Facebook remains its biggest competitor: 31% of adults surveyed who use social media in the US say they regularly receive news from Facebook. It is followed by YouTube with 22% and Twitter with 13%. However, according to Pew, Twitter is considered more current than the other two sites. Just looking at Twitter users (and not all US adults), 55% say they get regular updates on the social media site.

At the other end of the spectrum: “Fewer than one in 10 Americans say they regularly receive messages from Reddit (7%), TikTok (6%), LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), WhatsApp (3%). And Twitch (1%), “said Pew.

In terms of demographics, the overwhelming majority of the people who search for news on social media are overwhelmingly white. More than half of the regular message consumers on Facebook (60%), Twitter (51%) and Reddit (54%) are white, followed by Twitter (46%) and LinkedIn (45%). On more visually focused platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, the percentage of Hispanic users who regularly receive news from the platform approaches or, in the case of Snapchat, exceeds the percentage of white users, according to Pew. Snapchat and TikTok news regulars are younger than other social media platforms, with 63% and 52% between the ages of 18 and 29.

These findings underscore the importance of fact checking on social media sites: with nearly half of American adults turning to social media for regular news consumption, it is extremely easy to spread misinformation.

The Pew data was based on web surveys conducted between July and August with responses from more than 11,000 people who were part of a “nationally representative panel of randomly selected US adults.”

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