Poll: Facebook Users Largely Learned of Facebook Censorship by Reading on Facebook

• May 20, 2016 4:42 pm


A Morning Consult poll found that many young people learned about Facebook’s censorship of conservative news outlets from Facebook itself.

The poll surveyed 2,000 registered voters to determine how many were aware of the allegations that Facebook was censoring conservative news outlets in its newsfeed.

Of those who were aware of the alleged conservative censorship, 18 percent said they learned of the story through Facebook itself. Facebook was second only to television, which 31 percent of respondents reported as their source, while online news sites made up 11 percent. Nine percent found out by word of mouth. Other social media was the least-reported source, with only 7 percent learning of the story from non-Facebook platforms.

Many of those polled knew little about the story to begin with. Fifty-two percent of respondents had heard little to nothing about the Facebook scandal. The other 48 percent was split—17 percent had heard "a lot" about the story, and 31 percent had heard "some" information.

Political affiliation also appears to have affected how respondents learned of the story. Forty-eight percent of liberals and 46 percent of conservatives said they had heard little to nothing about the story, while roughly one-fifth of respondents from both groups reported hearing a lot about the story.

Twenty-two percent of liberals reported hearing about the scandal on Facebook, compared to 14 percent of conservatives. Those results match a Pew Center study, which found that more liberal Democrats—51 percent—than conservative Republicans—34 percent—get their election news from Facebook.

Social media awareness broke along age lines, with 35 percent of 45-to-54-year-olds, 44 percent of 55-to-64-year-olds, and 55 percent of those 65 years old and older learning of the controversy through television, while 15 percent, 17 percent, and 7 percent saw the story on Facebook for the respective categories.

Facebook has denied censoring conservative news and released a list, which consists of 1,000 approved news sources. The list was examined by the Free Beacon, which was found to include several news outlets controlled by the Russian and Chinese governments.


Published under: Censorship, Facebook, Media, Media Bias, TV News