Few supporters of opinions against the government and “offensive” ideas on social networks: survey

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The results of a national survey conducted by the Center for Developing Societies (CSDS) show that there are not many supporters of the principle that people should be free to express their opinions against the government or ideas judged “offensive” on social media platforms.

These were part of a survey of media consumption behavior, which also revealed that although television is the main source of news for most, newspapers and the public broadcaster Doordarshan enjoy a much higher greater trust among the population than private news channels.

“Most survey respondents held what could be considered conservative or illiberal views on the issue of free speech and expression on social media,” the survey, conducted by the Lokniti program, says. of the Study Center. developing companies in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

There were 7,463 respondents, ages 15 and older, in 19 states, in rural and urban areas. When asked if a person should be free to express an idea, even if it is offensive, 26% said they totally disagree, while 14% said they somewhat disagree. Nine percent said they were totally in favour, while 15 percent said they somewhat agreed.

Responses to the question of whether a person should have the freedom to express an opinion against the government on social media, no matter how offensive or objectionable, also revealed similar trends.

Consider this: 20% of all respondents said they totally disagreed with the idea that there should be complete freedom to express opinions against the government on social media. Sixteen percent said they somewhat disagree and an equal number said they somewhat agree and 11% said they strongly agree.

An overflow of similar sentiment could also be seen on the issue of government surveillance, which the report said was acknowledged but not considered immoral by many, as the same people responded that they did not see it. nothing bad.

“Social media users were much more likely to be against than for the idea of ​​the government determining what can and cannot be posted on social media or WhatsApp,” the report noted.

On the specific aspect of media consumption patterns, the survey shows that the gap between the number of consumers of newspapers and television news channels has “widened further”, with television being “almost seven times more dominant”.

Newspapers, however, fared better than news websites, according to the survey, which based its conclusion on the fact that half of all respondents said they read a newspaper, while two-fifths said browsing news and current affairs websites.

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