Three-quarters of US adults are internet users. Six in ten of these online adults use social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, and one third (35%) of these social networking site users took to these sites during election season to get political information or to get involved in the campaign. Our definition of political use of social networking sites includes anyone who did one or more of the following activities on these sites in the months leading up to the 2010 elections:
Discover which candidates your friends voted for this year – 18% of social networking site users did this (this represents 11% of all adult internet users)
Get candidate or campaign information –14% of social networking site users (9% of all internet users) did this
Post content related to politics or the campaign – 13% of social networking site users (8% of all internet users) posted their own content on these sites
Sign up as a friend of a candidate or group involved in the campaign—11% of social networking site users (7% of all internet users) did this in 2010
Take part in political groups or causes – 10% of social networking site users joined such a group, and 2% started their own group on these sites. This works out to 6% and 1% of internet users, respectively.
Taken together, that means that 35% of all social networking site users got involved politically on these sites during the 2010 elections. That works out to 21% of all adult internet users. Half of these political social networking users took part in one of the six activities we asked about in our survey, while the other half engaged in two or more activities.
Read more in our recent report, 22% of online Americans used social networking or Twitter for politics in 2010 campaign

Three-quarters of US adults are internet users. Six in ten of these online adults use social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, and one third (35%) of these social networking site users took to these sites during election season to get political information or to get involved in the campaign. Our definition of political use of social networking sites includes anyone who did one or more of the following activities on these sites in the months leading up to the 2010 elections:

  • Discover which candidates your friends voted for this year – 18% of social networking site users did this (this represents 11% of all adult internet users)
  • Get candidate or campaign information –14% of social networking site users (9% of all internet users) did this
  • Post content related to politics or the campaign – 13% of social networking site users (8% of all internet users) posted their own content on these sites
  • Sign up as a friend of a candidate or group involved in the campaign—11% of social networking site users (7% of all internet users) did this in 2010
  • Take part in political groups or causes – 10% of social networking site users joined such a group, and 2% started their own group on these sites. This works out to 6% and 1% of internet users, respectively.

Taken together, that means that 35% of all social networking site users got involved politically on these sites during the 2010 elections. That works out to 21% of all adult internet users. Half of these political social networking users took part in one of the six activities we asked about in our survey, while the other half engaged in two or more activities.

Read more in our recent report, 22% of online Americans used social networking or Twitter for politics in 2010 campaign