Pew Survey: 'Net Improves Education, Lowers Morals

The rise of the Internet has meant improved education, but a decline in morals.

At least that was the takeaway from a Pew Research study of 32 emerging/developing nations.

According to the study, 64% of respondents said the Internet has had a good influence on education, versus 18% who said it has had a bad influence. Only 29% said the 'net has had a positive influence on morality, while 42% said it had a negative influence.

The respondents were divided on the Internet's impact on politics, with 36% saying it was a bad influence and 30% saying it was good.

But much of that input is not based on regular experience with the technology. Pew said fewer than half of the respondents said they used the Internet at least "occasionally." Usage varied widely, from 3% of people in Uganda to 78% in Russia.

The study was based on 32 different samples -- ranging from 1,000 people to more than 2,000. It was conducted in the spring of 2014.

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.