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Social media may not spur diversity of views: Survey

Some may be even less inclined to disagree with the majority online

Published on Aug 29, 2014 9:01 AM
 
The long-held notion that new media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the great leveller of political participation online has been debunked, at least according to a new survey. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE long-held notion that new media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the great leveller of political participation online has been debunked, at least according to a new survey.

In a study covering some 1,800 adult respondents, researchers found that the spiral of silence - a tendency of people not to speak up on policy issues in public if they believe they hold a minority view - occurs as much in cyberspace as it does in real life.

In fact, the results suggest that some people may be even less inclined to disagree with the majority in cyberspace than they would in person.

The findings came from a study by Pew Research that involved asking people about their willingness to discuss the controversial leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

 
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