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Most Americans say social media is making the news worse

A survey reveals that the majority of Americans polled aren't happy with the impact of social media on the news.


Donald Trump's Twitter account could be one cause of divided opinions on politicians' use of social media.


Americans say social media is hurting the news.

That's according to a new report released by Gallup and the Knight Foundation that includes a poll of 19,000 Americans responding to questions about trust in the media. In a summary of 10 of the poll's key findings, the Knight Foundation said Monday in a blog post that "Americans believe that the media have an important role to play in our democracy  --  yet they don't see that role being fulfilled." 

Americans were largely positive about changes technology has brought to the news. 

Most respondents approved of videos shot by ordinary people and shared on news outlets. But 54 percent of respondents said that social media has had a negative effect on the news environment, and 53 percent also said they are unhappy with political leaders using social media to communicate. Democrats were slightly more critical of politicians communicating through social media, which is perhaps unsurprising considering President Donald Trump's prolific use of Twitter.

The study also found that while most Americans agree that "fake news" is a serious threat, it's hard to pin down a definition of that threat. Almost all respondents agreed that knowingly portraying false information as true is either sometimes or always fake news. But four out of 10 Republicans went further, saying that accurate stories that portray political leaders or groups in a negative light are always "fake news" too.