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Research reveals Australians are shy about expressing political views on social media

6 10 95
14.06.2018

Are you anxious about expressing your political views online? If so, you are not alone. Australians are more worried about this than citizens in many other countries.

According to new research, almost half of Australians are worried about what their friends, family and colleagues will think of them if they express their political views on social media. This is an important contribution to understanding the changing nature of the Australian public sphere and the way citizens moderate their behaviour in different media settings.

The finding is contained in the latest [Digital News Report: Australia 2018], released by the University of Canberra today.

The online survey of 2026 Australian news consumers found 41% say they tend to think very carefully about expressing their political beliefs openly on the internet because it could get them in trouble with authorities. 45% worry it could change the way their family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances could think about them.

This is especially the case among young people. Two-thirds (61%) of 25- to 34-year-olds said they were careful about expressing their political views because this could make colleagues or acquaintances think differently about them. They were also worried about friends and family (58%) and authorities (57%).

Left-wing-oriented news consumers were also more worried about expressing their views on line than those with a right-wing bent.

The level of worry........

© The Conversation