John Naughton: Reports of social media’s influence on voters are greatly exaggerated | John Naughton

A new study reveals that traditional outlets online were the most popular for general election news

You know the joke: one dark night, a policeman comes on a drunk rootling around under a street lamp. When asked what he’s doing, the guy says that he’s looking for his car keys. “Is this where you dropped them?” asks the cop. “No,” comes the reply. “Well, then why look for them here?” “Because at least here I can see what I’m doing.”

This joke has often come to mind since 2016 when reading explanations – especially media explanations – of the Brexit vote and Trump’s election. The general tenor is that it was all down to social media, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in particular.

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