Here’s some interesting survey data from Pew Research regarding politics and users of social network sites (SNS).

Some 18% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because that person posts too much about politics, or has different or offensive views, or because they thought their other friends would disagree or be offended, etc.

On the other hand …

  • 16% of SNS users have friended or followed someone because that person shared the user’s political views;
  • 47% of SNS users have hit the “like” button in response to political comments or material posted by someone else; and,
  • 38% have posted positive comments in response to a political post or status update from someone else.

So, on balance, it would seem that SNS sites do far more to spread like-minded views than to filter out discordant ones. If you substitute ‘issue views’ for political posts or content, which I think is a fair leap, the power of SNS for issue advocacy is quite evident. As the Kony video has underscored.

In a separate item, Pew reports on the Kony viral phenom. What most impressed Pew …

“27% of young adults (under age 30) first heard about it through social media such as Facebook or Twitter and another 8% learned about it via other internet sources. The internet was more than three times more important as a news-learning platform for young adults than traditional media such as television, newspapers, and radio. Some 10% of young adults first learned about the video via traditional media platforms.”

Nearly five million tweets about the video were sent in the week after it was posted online on March 5.

Who to credit for the take-off in views? Oprah! During the its first day online, the video received 66,000 views. The next day, Oprah tweeted to 9.6 million followers and the video received more than 9 million views! That’s impressive.


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