Many American voters express concern when asked about President-elect Donald Trump’s use of social media. 66%, consider the comments he posts to Twitter to be reckless and distracting. More than one in five, 21%, describe it as an effective and informative means of communication, and 13% are unsure.
Democrats, 90%, overwhelmingly perceive the Trump’s use of Twitter to be a negative method of communication. More than two-thirds of independents, 67%, agree. While a plurality of Republicans, 43%, believe Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter is effective and informative, nearly four in ten, 37%, consider it to be reckless and distracting, and 20% are unsure.
Interestingly, 74% of voters younger than 45 years of age, including 83% of those under 30 years old, say the president-elect’s use of Twitter is not an effective way for him to communicate. Nearly six in ten older voters, 59%, agree. Of note, the proportion of voters 45 or older who are unsure, 18%, is more than double the proportion of younger voters, 8%, who are uncertain.
When it comes to the spread of rumors and false information on social media, a majority of Americans, 53%, think social media is a free marketplace of ideas and believe it is up to its users to determine the truthfulness of information. 41% of U.S. residents say Facebook and Twitter have a responsibility to stop the sharing of information that is identified as false.
While majorities of Republicans, 52%, and independents, 54%, say the onus should be on the user, Democrats divide. 49% say it is up to users to determine the validity of information, and 47% report social media has a responsibility to vet the information.
Americans under 45 years of age, 65%, are more likely than older Americans, 43%, to perceive social media to be a free marketplace of ideas. A plurality of residents 45 and older, 48%, see a need for oversight by Facebook and Twitter.