Via PBS MediaShift:
As a teenager who was vocally opinionated about political issues, I often heard the cautionary refrain “Politics is not the topic of polite conversation.” That counsel must have been lost on me, since I find myself as an adult publicly airing my opinions as both the political correspondent for this blog and as a Democratic analyst periodically appearing on FoxNews.com. I understand the wisdom of that advice, however, and know that conversations about politics (like those about religion) often begin as well-intentioned contests of ideas but end as emotionally charged and intractable disputes.
A new study released today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project illustrates this point. It found that 18 percent of people who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+ have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because of that person’s disagreeable political postings.
To determine whether this is simply a case of the online public steering clear of, um, impolite conversation or is broader evidence of political opinions abruptly ending meaningful relationships, one must dig a bit deeper into the data. Among the people who’ve responded to unwanted political posts by giving an online cold shoulder, nearly 70% have done so to a distant friend or acquaintance …
Read More: PBS MediaShift