Liberals are nearly three times more likely than their conservative counterparts to distance themselves from somebody on social media due to their political posts, a new survey found.
The study, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a nonpartisan organization, found that 24 percent of Democratic voters said that they had "blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media" after President-elect Donald Trump won on Nov. 8, due to that person's politics, compared to only 9 percent of both Republican and independent voters who said they had done the same. Overall, only 13 percent of the general public said that they had removed online friends over politics.
The study, which PRRI conducted between Dec. 7-11, also found that gender had a lot to do with who was deleting their Facebook friends. While 14 percent of Democratic men said that they had distanced themselves from social media connections over their political posts following the election, 30 percent of politically liberal women reported having done so. Only 8 percent of Republican men and 14 percent of conservative women said the same.
In general, 28 percent of Democrats said that they removed someone for their online content, whether political or not, while 8 percent of Republicans and 11 percent of moderates reported doing the same.
Americans have long reported that they are burnt out when it comes to political encounters on social media. During the election, 37 percent of respondents in an October Pew Research Poll said that they were "worn out" by the political posts that they saw on their social media feeds – nearly twice as many as the 20 percent who said that they like it.
Meanwhile, 59 percent said at the time that they find political conversations and debates with those who have different views to be stressful and frustrating, compared to 35 percent who said that they are useful and enlightening. A full 64 percent said at the time that those interactions leave them feeling like they have even less in common than they previously thought.