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Pew: Majority of Americans Don't Trust Social Media

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(Image credit: Serdarbayraktar via Getty Images)

Only about a quarter of Americans have even some trust in the information they get from social media outlets, down from about a third who said so in 2016, and a mere 4% say they have a lot of trust in that information.

That is according to a just-released Pew Research analysis, based on a June 2021 survey of 10,606 adults.

Only 19% of Republicans say they have some trust, down from 32% in 2016. But Democrats aren't that much more trusting at only about a third (34%) having some trust, about even with five years ago.

In other results, over the past five years, which coincides with the drumbeat of attacks on the media by Donald Trump, the percentage of those Republicans who say they have at least some trust in national news outlets has been sliced in half since 2016, from 70% of Republicans and Republican "leaners" to only 35% in 2021.

Also Read: Pew: Social Media Still Draw Crowd Despite D.C.'s Concerns

By contrast, 78% of Democrats and leaners say they have "a lot" or "some" trust in national news organizations, down slightly from a previous 86%.

Looking at both Republicans and Democrats combined, six in 10 say they have at least some trust in national news organizations, but that is down from 65% in late 2019.

Republicans have much more trust in local news organizations at 66% with at least some trust (that percentage is 84% for Democrats). But that is down from 79%.

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

Pew Research Center finds partisan gap in trust of news and social media

(Image credit: Pew Research Center)
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.