Voter trust in political information from Facebook, Twitter and other social media services is now on par with that in traditional news sources, according to a new survey from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
The survey finds that nearly two-thirds of voters reported that political information on social media was either higher quality or on par with traditional media outlets. For users younger than 25, 71 percent put the same or greater level of trust in content.
Older voters are more skeptical of information shared on social media — with 36 percent calling it less reliable than traditional news sources.
Trust in social media is a bit of a surprising finding given the sheer number of hoaxes and fake news reports that constantly circulate on Twitter and Facebook — but John Kagia, director of strategy and insight at ORI, said the networks come with a built-in correction mechanism.
“I was particularly struck by how social media has closed the credibility gap,” Kagia said. “The speed with which inaccurate or incorrect information gets rebutted is much faster now than when it used to be,” he said, while acknowledging there is now much more information to vet.
Part of the reason that social networks have closed the credibility gap is that those networks are often built on real-life friendships and connections.
More from POLITICO’s Byron Tau here.