Have Britons stopped using social media as a source of news?


London, 28th August: After years of development, the news that the British adults get from social media has declined from 49% to 45%.

As per the reports from The Economist, Ofcom, the media regulator, had conducted research into where Britons get their news? The answer is roughly the same – mostly from television, decreasingly so from newspapers and more and more from social media.

But this year’s “news consumption report” contained a surprise: after years of growth, the number of British adults getting their news from social media declined from 49% to 45%.

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Reportedly, people’s opinions on social media deteriorated too. Brits consider it the least accurate, trustworthy, impartial, or high quality of all sources.

One reason for the decline is the way social-media sites work.

Facebook, the most popular, has been demoting news in users’ feeds.

Alice Pickthall of Enders Analysis, a research firm noticed that the publishers reacted to that by deprioritizing Facebook as an outlet to promote their work.

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Moreover, many websites have erected paywalls, reducing the supply of high-quality free content on social networks.

However, a more important cause maybe that Britcoins are intentionally trying to stay away from the news.

Research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) in Oxford found that last year some 35% of Britons said they often or sometimes avoided the news from 24% in 2017.

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Benjamin Toff of the University of Minnesota has found that “people who relied on social media as their main source of news were significantly more likely to say they were actively avoiding news”.

Furthermore, women are unlikely to read news mostly because it’s usually related to politics.

Likewise, people are avoiding social media as a source for news especially about coronavirus as statistics show that people have stopped using social media as a source of news about coronavirus because users fell from 49% in week one to 29% in week 20.

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The number of people saying they were trying to avoid news about coronavirus rose from 22% in the first week of lockdown to 35% in the tenth week.

However, they declined to 29% in August, perhaps because coronavirus wasn’t trending in the headline then.

The conclusion of the research is that people have started avoiding the news because it has a bad effect on their mood.

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