SWS: More Filipinos get news from Facebook than from radio, newspapers

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
SWS: More Filipinos get news from Facebook than from radio, newspapers
This illustration file picture shows the US social media Facebook logo displayed on a tablet in Paris on February 17, 2019.
AFP / Lionel Bonaventure

MANILA, Philippines — More Filipinos get news from Facebook than from radio and newspapers combined, a new survey of Social Weather Stations showed.

This, despite Facebook’s own effort to deprioritize news content and misinformation on the social media platform.

The survey conducted from March 28 to 31 found that 21% of adult Filipinos, or an estimated 13.9 million, consume news daily through Facebook.

In contrast, 15% of adult Filipinos (around 9.7 million people) get news through radio, while only 2% (around 1 million individuals) read a newspaper daily.

"Thus, Facebook as a daily news source is more common than radio and newspapers combined," SWS said.

Nearly half who get news from Facebook are college and HS grads

The polling firm also noted that getting news through Facebook is "positively related to educational attainment."

Nearly half of adult Facebook users who read news using the social media site are college and high school graduates, both at 49%. This is higher compared to 37% among elementary graduates and 36% among non-elementary graduates.

Television remains the king in the Philippines as 60% of Filipinos still consume news daily through the traditional media platform.

The survey has sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages, and ±5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

99% of internet users are on Facebook

The SWS survey also found that 99% of adults who use the internet or around 30.3 million individuals have Facebook accounts.

A majority of 56% of adults in urban areas (approximately 5.9 individuals) are on Facebook, compared to 38% in rural areas (approximately 11 million individuals).

YouTube is the second most popular social media site among Filipino internet users, with 38% or around 11.7 million individuals saying they own YouTube accounts.

The video-sharing site is followed by Instagram with 15% (around 4.7 million individuals), Twitter with 8% (around 2.7 million individuals) and Viber with 7% (around 2.1 million individuals).

Politics and society

The March 2019 survey also asked the 1,440 respondents whether they use social media for political and social purposes.

Thirty-one percent (approximately 9.4 million people) use social media to like or promote materials related to political or social issues that others have posted.

Fourteen percent (around 4.3 million individuals) use it to follow elected officials, election candidates or other political figures, 6% (around 1.8 million individuals) use it to post own thoughts on political or social issues, 5 percent (around 1.5 million individuals) use it to repost content on political or social issues.

Only 4% (approximately 1.2 million people) utilize social media to post links to political stories for others to read, 2% (approximately 537,000 people) utilize it to encourage other individuals to take action on important political or social issues and 1% (approximately 356,000) utilize it to encourage others to vote.

Fifty-one percent (around 15.4 million individuals) gave answers that specified other social media uses and activities.

Last March, Facebook took down 200 pages, groups and accounts based in the Philippines for using "coordinated inauthentic behavior" to spread content across the social media network. These pages, accounts and groups were found to be linked to a network organized by Nic Gabunada, the man behind then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's successful social media campaign.

The social media giant earlier removed 220 Facebook pages, 73 accounts and 29 Instagram pages in January. 



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