Alternative Media Sites Provide Community To Mostly Republican Readers

Americans who get their news from alternative media sites like Truth Social are deriving friendship as well as news from them, judging by The role of social Media in the News and Information Environment, a study by Pew Research  

Of those polled, 66% have found community on alternate media sites, while the remaining 34% have not. And they say the discussions on the sites are friendly. 

Pew studied seven alternative sites: BitChute, Gab, Gettr, Parler, Rumble, Telegram and Truth Social.  

Rumble appears to be the friendliest—69% describe it that way, versus 61% for Parler and 59% for Truth Social. 

Overall, 6% get news from at least one of the seven alternative media sites studied. And while 38% have heard of Parler and 27% Truth Social, only 1% regularly get their news from the former and 2% from the latter.   

Of the respondents who go to these sites for news, 66% are Republican or lean that way, while 33% are Democrats or Democrat-leaning.   

In contrast, more established social media sites draw 39% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats. 

The prominent accounts posting on those sites represent the following values:  

Right-leaning/pro-Trump—26%

Religious identity—21%

Patriotism/pro-American—21% 

Freedom/liberty—7% 

QAnon support/affiliation—6% 

2nd Amendment/pro-gun—6% 

Free speech—4%

Other values—22%   

Meanwhile, 15% of prominent social media accounts have been banned or demonized on social media sites. That includes 35% of the accounts on BitChute, 22% of those on Rumble, and only 3% of Truth Social’s.

Consumers who follow these sites are more likely to say freedom of information should be protected even if false news is published—64% say so. But 61% of all Americans say companies should take steps to restrict certain types of content even if it limits freedom of information. 

Even these sites moderate their content in some ways. Of the seven, these numbers say:  

  • Site has moderated content—6 
  • Group/channel admin. Can moderate content--2

Meanwhile, some of the sites allow user-level moderation:

  • Block/mute accounts—5
  • Report accounts/posts—6 
  • Block explicit content—4 
  • Block keywords—1 

Pew surveyed 10,188 U.S. adults from May 16-22, 2022. In addition, it reviewed the seven studied sites for their features, history an dother characteristics. It also analyzed 1,400 prominent accounts. 

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