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Majorities in Most Countries Surveyed Say Social Media Is Good for Democracy—but not in the U.S.

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In this Issue:

  • Spring 2024
  • A Change to Federal Methadone Regulations
  • A Journey to Earth’s Last Great Wilderness
  • Art With a View on History
  • Expanded Protections for a Biological Hot Spot
  • Honduras’ Coastal Wetlands
  • Insights on What Communities Need to Thrive
  • Majorities Say Social Media Is Good for Democracy
  • Americans Say Officials Should Avoid Heated or Aggressive Speech
  • Return on Investment
  • The Digital Divide
  • The High Cost of Putting a Roof Over Your Head
  • The Pantanal in South America
  • Tribal Nations First Ocean and Coastal Protections in U.S.
  • What Does Being Spiritual Mean?
  • View All Other Issues
Majorities in Most Countries Surveyed Say Social Media Is Good for Democracy—but not in the U.S.

As social media use becomes more widespread globally, people in 27 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2022 and 2023 generally see it as more of a good thing than a bad thing for democracy. In 20 of these countries, in fact, majorities say social media has benefited democracy in their nation.

People in emerging economies are particularly likely to say social media has advanced their democracy. Assessments are especially positive in Nigeria and Mexico, where nearly 8 in 10 (77% each) say social media has had a positive effect on democracy.

People are far less certain in other countries, including the Netherlands and France, where more say social media has had a negative effect on democracy than say it’s had a positive effect.

Meanwhile, Americans are the least likely to evaluate social media positively. Just 34% of U.S. adults say social media has been a good thing for democracy in the United States, while nearly twice as many (64%) say it has been a bad thing. And Republicans are more critical than Democrats about the impact of social media.

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