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Social Media, Information, and Politics: Insights on Latinos in the U.S.
In a survey of more than 2,500 individuals from across America who identify as Latino/Hispanic/Latinx, we find that Latinos use social media differently than White Americans.
Abrajano, Marisa, Marianna Garcia, Aaron Pope, Robert Vidigal, Edwin Kamau, Joshua A. Tucker, and Jonathan Nagler. "Social Media, Information, and Politics: Insights on Latinos in the U.S." OSF, (2022). https://bit.ly/CSIP-Paper1
Nov 03, 2022
Social media is used by millions of Americans to acquire political news and information. Most of this research has focused on understanding the way social media consumption affects the political behavior and preferences of White Americans. Much less is known about Latinos’ political activity on social media, who are not only the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the U.S., but they also continue to exhibit diverse political preferences. Moreover, about 30% of Latinos rely primarily on Spanish-language news sources (Spanish-dominant Latinos) and another 30% are bilingual. Given that Spanish-language social media is not as heavily monitored for misinformation than its English-language counterparts (Valencia, 2021; Paul, 2021), Spanish-dominant Latinos who rely on social media for news may be more susceptible to political misinformation than those Latinos who are exposed to English-language social media. We address this contention by fielding an original study that sampled a large number of Latino and White respondents. Consistent with our expectations, Latinos who rely on Spanish-language social media are more likely to believe in election fraud than those who use both English and Spanish social media new sources. We also find that Latinos engage in more political activities on social media when compared to White Americans, particularly on their social media of choice, WhatsApp.