If you believe a news report, young people are getting their political news from an unlikely source: Facebook.
This is the same outlet given the green light by the Supreme Court this week to allow users to post threatening messages.
It would have made more sense to say the young go to the Internet for news.
Keep in mind there is bad reporting, just as there is bad science.
“The scientific community is in shock after one of the largest scientific publishers, Science, was forced to retract a study on gay marriage; the reason? The data on which it was based was almost certainly fake,”reports ZME Science. Others also reported the inaccurate report.
The report had said that if those people who go door-to-door to promote change, Craigslist is full of such jobs, identify themselves as gay instead of cloaking themselves in anonymity they will be more successful. People will remember them longer and what they said.
Turns out scientific rules used to do studies were ignored, or outright faked.
This canard this week is being promoted on Facebook, of course. It says “millennials” say they get most of their political news from Facebook.
The study that disses TV news and heavyweights like the New York Times and Washington Post was done by usually reliable Pew Research.
“We are only beginning to understand the complex interactions of personal choice, friend networks and algorithms in the social media space,” Amy Mitchell, Pew’s director of journalism research said in a statement. “As the research continues, these data suggest there are fundamental differences in the ways younger and older generations stay informed about political news.”
What does that mean. Young people get their political news from Facebook.
Most likely it means they are seeing URLs, unique resource locators, that take them to a media site. Facebook isn’t providing the news at all. It is easy to be fooled, like the FIFA executive who quoted the Onion on the organization to hold a pop World Cup this year in the U.S.
Not that this isn’t scary. It means these people are regurgitating the same “content” to their friends. So whatever they are reading, it is the same thing their friends are reading.
Perhaps they should have been asked which source do they post on their Facebook pages? Is it whichever one says what they want to hear or perhaps even something they think is stupid?
The study is right when it says: “No matter the generational differences, it’s obvious that social media, especially Facebook, has become a key way for people to consume politics news, a trend that will become more relevant as younger users become more interested interested in politics.”
This is just another way of saying “the medium is the message,” as Canadian Marshall McLuhan said in the 1950s.