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Most Americans think: News on social media are of low quality, one-sided, inaccurate

By News Report
October 03, 2019

WASHINGTON: Americans are most concerned about biased and inaccurate news on social media. Many say the news content they see leans left.

According to a latest survey by American think tank Pew Research Center released on Wednesday, many people –including President Donald Trump – have voiced concerns about social media companies potentially censoring the news that people see, whether by hiding posts by banning specific users. But in spite of the public discussion around potential censorship and efforts to monitor it, Americans are more concerned with the overall low quality of news available on social media sites. Of the seven issues asked about, about half of US adults say that one-sided news (53%) and inaccurate news (51%) are very big problems when it comes to news on social media. Fewer say that censorship of the news (35%) or news organisations or personalities being banned (24%) are very big problems.

According to the survey, a majority of Americans believe social media platforms have too much control over news they see and many express concern that they get a less favorable "mix" of information as a result. The Pew Research Center poll found 62 percent of respondents say social media companies have excessive control over news.

This results in a less favorable mix of news, 55 percent of respondents told the researchers. The survey highlights rising worries about how social media shape the information people see online.

The poll found more than 80 percent of respondents believe social media sites treat some news organisations differently than others. Among those who say the platforms are partial, the vast majority said greater exposure was given to news organisations that produce "attention-grabbing articles," those with a high number of social media followers or those whose coverage has a certain political stance.