Science & Tech

Why your political rants on Facebook are completely pointless

Picture: ElNariz/iStock
Picture: ElNariz/iStock

A study of Facebook users shows that almost nobody takes your political rant seriously.

Twitter is often labelled the echo chamber of public debate, as following begats following, and the most loved tweets are the ones which preach to the choir. As such, a Twitter storm has little effect on public debate. New research shows that Facebook is similarly impotent to change the hearts and minds of the people.

The study by Rantic Media, a company which sells followers in bulk, has shown that only a small number of people feel swayed by the political posts they see on Facebook. Most people probably find your Facebook pulpit annoying, and now there's proof that they're going to stay well away from your flock.

According to Wired, when Rantic asked 10,000 Facebook users in the US if they had ever changed their mind about an issue because of a post on Facebook, 94 per cent of Republicans and 92 per cent of Democrats answered 'No'. A very small number responded yes. Self described independents had the highest 'Yes' score of the three groups.

Moreover, barely any users had 'Unfriended' someone on Facebook because of the friend's political post. The survey found Democrats to be the most censorious and cutthroat in this respect, but even then 82 per cent were willing to forgive and forget.

The survey also found that even though most users were unmoved by political posts from others, this didn't stop them expressing their own views about politics on Facebook.

Other findings from the research showed that almost a third of Facebook users felt that social media was an inappropriate place for political discussions.

If the same apathy towards political posts holds true for Facebook users in the UK, this will be bad news for the #WeAreHisMedia campaign. These supporters of Jeremy Corbyn use social media to promote positive stories about the Labour leader which they feel have been neglected by the 'mainstream meadia'. They will most likely be dismayed by these findings which show that they're just preaching to the converted.

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