Americans Are the Only Ones Who Don’t Think Social Media Improves Democracy

The rise of social media has created a lot of seismic shifts in the world. The internet as a big invention in and of itself, but social media created platforms where people could socialize, get information as well as find out about new products all in one place. The best benefit of social media is that it can help people be better informed, and that might be a really good thing for democracy with all things having been considered and taken into account.

A survey from the Pew Research Center revealed that people in most countries think that social media is good for democracy even though it helps spread misinformation and has led to increased levels of polarization. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Americans apparently think quite differently. 64% of Americans who responded to this survey said that they don’t think social media improves democracy, which is more than double the 35% of people on average from other countries who felt the same way.

Americans seem to be far more cognizant of the negative impacts of social media on democracy, and that might make them behave differently online than might have been the case otherwise. 79% of Americans also feel like social media has caused a wider division in political opinions, though this is consistent with what other countries’ citizens are saying with the median percentage being around 65%. Malaysia had the lowest score here, but even there 43% of people agreed that social media did harm on this front.

Another area that Americans are concerned about is the rhetoric surrounding politics. 69% of Americans believe that social media has led to discussions about politics becoming less civil, with the median percentage for all other countries being 46%. People living in Singapore seem to disagree, with just 27% believing that social media did anything negative in that regard.

America is a powerful force, and the opinions of people living there tend to matter a lot. That is why such notions may be risky for the future of democracy.

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