News habits follow political bias

Screen shot of interactive Twitter map showing how election played out on its social networking site.

If you’re in the U.S. and you turned on the news today to check up midterm election results, chances are your political affiliation influenced your news source. That’s probably not shocking information, but in a recent poll, the Pew Research Journalism Project found that in addition to choice of news source, both consistent liberals and conservatives have very particular media habits. For instance:

  • Conservatives are more likely than liberals to have politically homogenous friends on Facebook. Seventy-five percent of consistent or mostly conservative people said their Facebook friends agree with their political views as compared to 45 percent of consistent and mostly liberal people.
  • However, liberals are more likely to unfriend people on social media because of politics. Almost half – 44 percent – of consistent liberals have hidden, blocked, unfriended or stopped following someone because they disagreed with a political post. For consistent conservatives, that number was 31 percent.
  • Liberals and conservatives also use Facebook differently. Consistent liberals are more likely to follow issue-based groups (60 percent of them, compared to 46 percent of consistent conservatives), while consistent conservatives are more likely to follow political parties, candidates and elected officials (49 percent compared to 42 percent of consistent liberals.)

(And for the record, for their political news, liberals tend to rely pretty equally on CNN, NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times, while almost half of conservatives turn to Fox News).

This interactive map from Twitter allows you to see how the election played out on the popular social networking site. Check out national trends on the homepage, or search your hometown to see the most tweeted about issues and to also see a stream of local #Election2014 tweets.

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