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One-in-five ‘change ballot choices based on social media’

One-in-five voters have changed their ballot choices based on posts they have seen on social media, according to new research.

The ‘Connected Lives’ survey from Pure Telecom shows the figure was higher among younger voters, with 28% of those aged 18 to 24 saying social media has led to them changing their ballot preference.

The study found that 41% of social media users fact-check political social media content, while 27% will only follow people and accounts whose political opinions they agree with.

More than a third of respondents believe that social media is the most important political campaigning platform, rising to 47% for those aged 18 to 24.

Almost half of adults who use social media said they like politicians to use it because it makes them more accessible.

“Social media can help the population to stay informed on local issues and developments, while also having a greater awareness of national issues, elections and referenda,” said Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom.

“However, with so many admitting to being influenced politically by social media, it is incumbent on all of us to make sure we carry out some fact-checking before forming an opinion,” Mr Connell said.

The nationally representative survey of 1,006 adults in Ireland was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom.

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