A new Public Religion Research Institute survey found women and Democrats are much more likely to block friends on social media networks over political disagreements than men and Republicans are.
Put another way, on social media Republicans are more tolerant than Democrats, and men are more tolerant than women.
Only 13% of the public say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media because of what they posted about politics. Again, sharp political divisions emerged in the tendency to remove people because of the political opinions they expressed.
Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Democrats say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media after the election because of their political posts on social media. Fewer than one in ten Republicans (9%) and independents (9%) report eliminating people from their social media circle.
Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to say they removed someone from their social media circle due to what they shared online (28% vs. 8%, respectively). Eleven percent of moderates say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone due to what they posted online.
There is also a gender gap.
Women are twice as likely as men to report removing people from their online social circle because of the political views they expressed online (18% vs. 9%, respectively). Notably, the gender gap also differs significantly across political affiliation. Three in ten (30%) Democratic women say they removed an individual from their online social network because of a political opinion they expressed, while only 14% of Democratic men reported doing this. Republican men and women are about equally as likely to say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone on social media because of political posts (10% vs. 8%, respectively).
None of this should be surprising to anyone who uses Facebook.
(image from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Socialmedia-pm.png)