The 30-minute video released last week by the San Diego-based group Invisible Children calling for action against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony provided striking evidence that young adults and their elders at times have different news agendas and learn about news in different ways.
Those ages 18-29 were much more likely than older adults to have heard a lot about the “Kony 2012” video and to have learned about it through social media than traditional news sources. Indeed, a special analysis of posts in Twitter showed that it was by far the top story on the platform.
Younger adults were also more than twice as likely as older adults to have watched the video itself on YouTube or Vimeo. As of March 13, the video had been viewed more than 76 million times on YouTube and 16 million times on Vimeo, making it one of the most viewed videos of all time on those sites.
A new Pew Research Center report, based on polling and social media content analysis, tracks how the “Kony 2012” video and information about it reached so many Americans in a relatively short period of time, and the critical role social media played, especially for adults under age 30.