Thursday, March 17, 2011

New report alert: 54% of adults used the internet for political purposes in the 2010 election cycle

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The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project []

Pew Internet & American Life Project

New Report Alert

The Internet and Campaign 2010 []Campaign
2010 []
By Aaron Smith []
March 17, 2011

Some 73% of adult internet users went online in 2010 for news or information about
the midterm elections or to communicate with others about the campaigns. []
This includes anyone who did one or more of the following in the months leading
up to the 2010 elections:

* 58% of online adults looked online for news about politics or the 2010 campaigns,
with 32% of online adults getting most of their 2010 campaign news from online
sources. For Americans under the age of 50, the internet ranks ahead of newspapers
as a source of campaign news.
* 53% of online adults went online to take part in specific campaign-related activities,
such as watch political videos, share election-related content or "fact check"
political claims.
* One in five online adults used Twitter or social networking sites for political
purposes in 2010.

"As the internet has developed as a tool for political engagement and information-seeking,
the audience for online political content has also changed," said Aaron Smith [],
Pew Internet Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. "These online
spaces are a meeting place where politically engaged Americans of all stripes-young
and old, conservative and liberal-can come to catch up on the latest events, share
their thoughts on the political news of the day, and see what their friends have
to say about the issues that are important to them."

Even as the internet continues to grow in importance as a source of political news,
Americans hold a diverse range of views-both positive and negative-about the impact
of digital technologies on the political debate:

* A total of 54% of online adults say that the internet makes it easier to connect
with others who share their views politically. Those internet users who take part
in politically-related activities on social networking sites are especially likely
to say that the internet helps them connect with others around political issues.
* At the same time, 55% of all internet users feel that the internet increases the
influence of those with extreme political views, compared with 30% who say that
the internet reduces the influence of those with extreme views by giving ordinary
citizens a chance to be heard.

The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted
by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from November 3-24, 2010,
among a sample of 2,257 adults, age 18 and older.

Read the full report:

About the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
The Pew Internet Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit
"fact tank"that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping
America and the world. Pew Internet explores the impact of the internet on children,
families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political
life. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Project's
website is: [].

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