A plurality of young voters say they hold social media responsible for divisions among Americans, according to a survey released Monday.
A Quinnipiac University poll asked U.S. registered voters to select one of four options to blame for the divisions in the country. Overall, 35 percent blamed social media, 32 percent blamed political leaders, 28 percent blamed cable news channels and only 1 percent blamed other countries.
Forty-five percent of voters 18-34 years old blamed social media. They were roughly split between the other two dominant groups, with 27 percent blaming cable news and 26 percent blaming political leaders.
“When it comes to the source of the angry white noise of discord and division, the segment of the population most connected to it is the age group most critical of it,” Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release of the poll.
Public officials have struggled to regulate social media, despite known consequences of its use. A bipartisan coalition of 33 attorneys general recently filed lawsuits against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, accusing the company of knowingly designing features that harm young users’ mental health.
The poll surveyed 1,574 self-identified registered voters nationwide from Nov. 9-13, and it has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
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