A recent research by Pew revealed the surprising findings that users who regularly relied on global social networking sites like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) refrained from expressing their candid opinion or even get embroiled in a debate. This is totally contrary to the popular opinion that these websites, particularly Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), served as some of the most viable platforms for people to engage in heated debate of ideas exchange opinions on controversial topics.
Pew report stated the following as per findings of its study –
“A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the ‘spiral of silence.’ ”
To prove its point Pew researchers quoted the response of users when revelation of Snowden, an NSA contractor, pertaining to covert spying operations had been made public in 2013. Rather than jumping on to the bandwagon as expected by the creators of these platforms, people held back from posting their comments. Instead they decided to limit their discussions to a more personal level and away from the public archives of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has disputed these findings and has expressed its disagreement in the following statement –
“People are less willing to discuss an issue when they think the audience disagrees with them than when they think they agree, whether that audience is offline or online. The tendency to avoid information that disagrees with your viewpoint has been a known effect since before the Internet existed (selective exposure), and this study concludes that there is no evidence that people overcome this tendency.”
It went on to make this scathing remark too – “So the Internet isn’t a magic wand for human behavior. Shame.”
With its stock currently poised at $73.86, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been on an acquisition spree and is undergoing expansion at all levels on a global scale. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is placed at $49.43 and is expecting a turnaround courtesy of the new acquisition.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.