In research:

Americans worry about social media's influence

Many Americans get news through social media.
Many Americans get news through social media.

Americans increasingly rely on social media for news. But according to the Pew Research Center, they aren't happy about it.

    A study released last week shows that 62 percent of Americans think social media has too much control over news, while 21 percent believe it has the right amount of control and 15 percent believe it doesn't have enough control. 
     Social media companies make rules when it comes to news. They attempt to block false information, for example. But according to Pew, 55 percent of the public believes "the role social media companies play in delivering the news on their sites results in a worse mix of news for users."
    An overwhelming majority -- 82 percent -- believe social media sites treat some news organizations differently than others. "Among those U.S. adults who say social media companies treat some news organizations differently than others, there is broad agreement that they favor three types," the Pew Center reports. "Those that produce attention-grabbing articles (88 percent), those with a high number of social media followers (84 percent), and those whose coverage has a certain political stance (79 percent)."
    In 2018, the center reported that 20 percent of Americans say they get news from social media, while 16 percent rely on print newspapers. And 49 percent get their news through television.
    Use of mobile devices to get news also continues to grow, according to the center. And while teenagers are early adapters to mobile devices, 85 percent of U.S. adults get news on a mobile device, up from 72 percent in 2016.

 Trump's Twitter strategy: President Donald Trump often shares his feelings on Twitter, tweeting multiple times with angry messages for political opponents or anyone who says anything he doesn't like.
   But a recent study from the University of Birmingham, England, finds that Trump and his campaign effectively used the social media platform in 2016. And according to Jack Grieve, professor in the university's Department of English Language and Linguistics, the study "shows how online presence on social media platforms is a crucial component of modern politics."
    The British team examined more than 21,000 of Trump's tweets. They analyzed how the campaign used social media during the 2016 election and how Trump's language shifted depending on events and the campaign's goals.
    Trump and his team countered critical coverage of the campaign "by disengaging from other viewpoints, focusing instead on using social media to express opinions, attack opponents and promote the campaign," the study found. "Rather than debating his critics or disputing their claims, Trump often ignored their attacks and continued to present his own agenda, doubling down on controversial views, especially as the campaign progressed. This defensive strategy may have insulated Trump and his supporters from these attacks, while helping to present Trump as an outsider who was standing up to mainstream politicians and media outlets."


    Social media perpetuates spiral of silence    

    Most teens go online daily, survey finds

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