From Donald Trump GIFs to "Birdie Sanders" memes, your Facebook and Twitter feeds are no doubt full of opinions about the upcoming presidential election. But a new poll suggests, when it comes to politics, the social media environment is increasingly hostile.
More than 50 percent of Americans have recently expressed opposition to a 2016 presidential candidate on social media, according to the poll, which was conducted by Rad Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies and craigconnects. When it comes to who's behaving the worst, 57 percent of respondents ranked Trump supporters as being very aggressive or threatening online.
"In a free country like the US, everyone gets a chance to say who runs things," said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects, in a blog post Wednesday. "When we see 93 million eligible voters staying home, we know something's broken. The electoral system has big problems; let's fix them instead of picking a fight."
Other highlights from the poll:
- 63 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans polled believe campaigns should rein in their most aggressive supporters.
- Between 15 and 20 percent of respondents have "unfriended" someone because of their political opinions.
- 14 percent of respondents under age 35 said their jobs could be at risk for expressing their political preferences online.
The poll is based on 1,017 interviews among likely voters and was conducted online March 2-9.