X users depend heavily on the app for news, study reveals 

A recent Pew Research report sheds light on the evolving landscape of news consumption via social media platforms, revealing some concerning trends, particularly as the U.S. Election season approaches. Pew’s findings indicate a notable increase in the number of X users who rely on the app for news content. While other platforms see users encountering false reports, X stands out as a platform where news consumption is a primary reason for usage, with a significant portion of users regularly accessing news updates.

The data reveals: “Majorities of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok users do not use these platforms for news. X (formerly Twitter) is the exception, where a majority of users consider news consumption a significant or minor reason for their usage, with about half of them getting news updates regularly.”

X, categorized under the News app category on the App Store, has been actively positioning itself as a trusted news source, a move spearheaded by its owner, Elon Musk. Musk has been vocal about his distrust in mainstream media, often accusing them of bias and misinformation while promoting X as a more reliable alternative.

However, critics argue that Musk’s motives are often self-serving, aiming to leverage X’s massive user base to influence media narratives and dispute unfavorable coverage. Musk’s advocacy for Community Notes, which are user-applied and voted on to verify news accuracy, is seen as a tool to reinforce his influence over media discourse, despite concerns about its effectiveness in curbing misinformation.

Research suggests that Community Notes may not effectively police misinformation on the platform, especially given the requirement for consensus among users of opposing viewpoints before notes are displayed. This limitation raises doubts about X’s ability to combat misinformation effectively, particularly crucial as the U.S. Election nears.

Moreover, Pew’s report underscores the value of X as a real-time news source, connecting users with the latest updates as they happen. The platform’s immediacy in news delivery contrasts with Meta’s Threads, a competing platform that has steered away from news content to focus on a more positive user experience. This move has positioned X as the primary choice for breaking news, further consolidating Musk’s influence in shaping public perception through the platform.

Despite its popularity, X users acknowledge the prevalence of misinformation on the platform, raising concerns about the efficacy of Community Notes as a safeguard against false information. This issue is compounded by Meta’s reluctance to engage with news content, leaving X as a dominant platform for real-time news coverage, albeit one susceptible to misinformation.

In a troubling trend, TikTok influencers are increasingly cited as news sources over traditional media, reflecting a broader shift in public trust towards less vetted sources of information. This trend, exacerbated by ongoing efforts to discredit mainstream media, poses significant challenges as society navigates a landscape where factual accuracy is increasingly compromised.

As the 2024 election cycle approaches, these issues are set to become focal points of discussion, highlighting the broader implications of social media platforms as news sources. The shift towards less reliable news sources underscores the importance of media literacy and responsible platform governance to mitigate the spread of misinformation.

Written by Sophie Blake


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Ultimate Games Industry Networking Event of 2024: Mobidictum Conference

Game advertising platform iion secures seed funding for global expansion