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SOCIAL MEDIA

This survey took place in March 2018 and was conducted throughout all of Russia in both urban and rural settings. The survey was carried out among 1600 people over the age of 18 in 136 localities of 52 of the country’s regions. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the number of participants along with data from previous surveys. The statistical error of these studies for a selection of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed: 3.4% for indicators around 50%; 2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%; 2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%; 1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%.

Over the course of the next five years, some significant changes will be made to a number of different news channels. Television is still the most popular source of information: 70% of Russians get information from TV every day or almost every day. Online media outlets are an important news source for a third of Russians.

WHERE DO YOU LEARN ABOUT NATIONAL AND WORLD NEWS MOST OFTEN? (several answers)

 

Jun.

13

Mar.

14

Nov.

15

Mar.

16

Jul.

16

Mar.

18

Television 88 90 85 89 86 85
Friends, relatives, neighbors 24 25 24 27 27 27
Online media 21 24 21 25 33 27
Social media 14 15 13 22 23 21
The radio 16 18 13 20 22 15
Newspapers 20 19 13 14 19 13
Magazines 4 5 2 3 4 2
Other 1 1 1 1 1 0
I’m not interested in the news 1 0 1 2 1 3
It is difficult to say 1 0 1 1 2 0

PLEASE INDICATE HOW OFTEN YOU…

Mar. 18 Every day Almost every day At least once a week Rarely /
never
WATCH THE NEWS ON TV? 29 42 19 10
READ THE NEWS ONLINE? 10 23 19 48
LISTEN TO THE NEWS ON THE RADIO? 6 15 11 69
READ NEWSPAPERS? 1 7 22 70

The degree to which people trust the information they hear on TV noticably changes from poll to poll. This could be related to the current news agenda. Past research has shown [1] that people have a greater degree of trust in information on foreign politics, and lower levels toward news about Russian domestic politics. Accordingly, this offset balance between news on domestic and foreign politics could affect people’s trust in various news outlets.

WHICH INFORMATION SOURCES TO YOU TRUST MOST FOR COVERAGE OF DOMESTIC AND WORLD NEWS? (up to three answers)

 

Jun.

13

Mar.

14

Nov.

15

Mar.

16

Jul.

16

Mar.

18

Television 51 50 41 53 59 51
Friends, relatives, neighbors 16 20 19 16 12 19
Online media 14 19 18 16 20 19
Social media 11 9 9 13 12 15
Newspapers 12 14 12 9 9 9
The radio 12 13 11 11 9 8
Magazines 2 1 2 1 1 1
I don’t trust any of them 8 4 8 9 8 10
It is difficult to say 6 6 6 9 6 8

The most popular news channels are Channel One (Perviy kanal—72%), Russia-1 (Rossiya-1—57%), NTV (44%), and Russia-24 (Rossiya-24—38%).

DO YOU WATCH TV NEWS PROGRAMS, AND IF SO, WHICH CHANNELS DO YOU WATCH ON A MORE OR LESS REGULAR BASIS, INCLUDING ON-LINE VIEWING? (respondents were presented with a card; several answers)

Mar. 17 Mar. 18
Channel One 72 72
Russia-1 46 57
NTV 40 44
Russia-24 34 38
REN TV 21 21
Channel Five (Pyatiy kanal) 24 20
TV Сentre 13 12
Zvezda 11 12
Russia-K (Kultura) 7 7
Moscow 24 (Moskva 24) 8 6
Regional / local TV channels (including cable) 7 6
PBK TV 7 6
Public Television of Russia (Obshchestvennoye Televideniye Rossii, OTR) 3 4
Euronews 5 3
“Spas” 2 3
Dozhd (also: TV Rain) 2 2
The BBC 2 1
RT / Russia Today 1 1
LifeNews 3 1
Current Time 0 0
RTVI 0
Other state-run channels 8 5
Other foreign channels 1 1
I don’t watch the news on TV 10 9

The most popular websites proposed by respondents were the news aggregators Yandex.Novosti (29%) and Novosti Mail.ru (11%).

DO YOU VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES ON A MORE OR LESS REGULAR BASIS? (respondents were presented with a card; sites that were mentioned by at least 1% of respondents are listed)

Mar. 16 Mar. 18
Yandex Novosti (news.yandex.ru) 26 29
Novosti Mail.ru 9 11
Lenta.ru 6 6
Rbc.ru 4 3
Sports.ru 2
Meduza.io 0 2
Life.ru 3 2
tvrain.ru / Dozhd 2
RT.com (Russia Today) 3 1
Gazeta.ru 1
Newsru.com 0 1
Utro.ru 1 1
Radion Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s (Radio Svoboda) website 1 1
Echo.msk.ru / Echo of Moscow’s (Ekha Moskvy) website 2 1
bbc.com / the BBC’s Russian website 2 1
Fontanka.ru 1 1
Websites for foreign media outlets published in foreign languages 1 1
Websites of local newspapers, TV channels, and internet resources 4 5
Websites of state-run TV channels 2 2
I don’t visit any of these sites 26 30
I don’t use the internet 29 27
It is difficult to say 4 4

The most popular informational-political programs are “Evening With Vladimir Solovyov” (Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym—34%), “Vesti Nedeli” (29%), and “Itogi Nedeli” (18%). They are primarily watched by older respondents. This is related to generally high levels of absenteeism amongst younger respondents and a tendency amongst young Russians to be less-active TV viewers.

The most popular entertainment shows are  “Andrey Malakhov: On Air Live” (Andrei Malakhov. Pryamoy efir—37%) and “Evening Urgant” (Vecherniy Urgant—20%). There are notable age difference between these programs’ viewers: the main audience for Andrey Malakhov’s talk show consists of older people, while “Evening Urgant” attracts younger viewers and, to a lesser degree, viewers over the age of 55. The show “vDud” is the fifth most popular amongst the youngest TV viewers (18-24 years old) and outranks many political shows on state-run channels.

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS DO YOU WATCH ON TV OR ONLINE ON A MORE OR LESS REGULAR BASIS? (several answers)

Total Ages 18-24 Ages 25-39 Ages 40-54 55 and older
Andrey Malakhov: On Air Live (Russia-1) 37 24 32 34 48
Evening with Vladimir Solovyev (Russia-1) 34 13 22 36 48
Vesti Nedeli (Dmitry Kiselyov, Russia-1) 29 14 20 34 39
Evening Urgant (Ivan Urgant, Channel One) 20 29 22 21 15
Itogi Nedeli (with Irada Zeynalova, NTV) 18 7 15 21 21
Time Will Show (Vremya Pokazhet—Yekaterina Strizhenova, Anatoly Kuzichev, and Artyom Sheynin, Channel One) 16 6 10 16 22
Pozner (Vladimir Pozner, Channel 1) 16 5 12 17 20
Vremya (Voskresnoye Vremya—Valery Fadeyev, Channel One) 9 5 6 9 12
Meeting Point (Mesto Vstrechi—Andrey Norkin and Olga Belova, NTV) 7 1 4 7 11
Besogon TV (Nikita Mikhalkov, Russia-24) 6 1 4 7 10
Postscriptum (Aleksey Pushkov, TV Centre) 4 2 2 5 5
Right to Vote (Pravo Golosa—Roman Babayan, TV Centre) 3 1 3 4 4
Main News (Glavnie Novosti—RBK TV) 3 0 4 2 4
vDud (Yuri Dud, YouTube) 2 8 4 1 0
Agora (Mikhail Shvydkoy, Russia-K) 2 4 2 2 3
Prav?Da! (Dmitry Lyskov, Nikolai Matveev, and Anastasia Urnova, OTR) 1 2 1 0 2
Belkovsky: Direct Line (Stanislav Belkovsky, Dozhd) 1 1 1 1 1
Tem Vremenem (Aleksandr Arkhangelsky, Russia-K) 0 1 0 1 0
I don’t watch any of these programs 23 44 30 24 11

60% of Russians use social media. One third (36%) of Russians use social media every day or almost every day.

DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES? IF SO, HOW OFTEN? (single answer)

Aug. 11 Oct. 12 Jul. 13 Mar. 14 Jul. 14 Aug. 15 Feb. 16 Feb. 16 Mar. 17 Aug. 2017 Dec. 17 Mar. 18
Every day/ almost every day 12 20 27 30 24 28 33 32 34 37 37 36
Several times a week 10 15 15 15 20 19 17 17 19 17 15 14
About once a week 7 7 7 6 6 7 6 7 6 7 4 6
2-3 times a month 2 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 4
About once a month 1 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 1
Less than once a month 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2
Never* 65 53 44 40 43 39 38 37 34 34 41 40
It is difficult to say 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

70% of social media users think that these sites are a source of new and important information, 72% say that social media helps them to relax and reduce stress, and 30% think that spending time on social media is a useless activity.

(March 2018) TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: (percentage of respondents that use social media)

  Fully agree Mostly agree Mostly disagree Fully disagree It is difficult to say
I learn new and important things through social media 19 51 20 7 3
Social media helps me relax and reduce stress 22 50 16 8 4
The time I spend on social media is useless, wasted 6 21 41 23 8

About 80% of social media users at least occasionally encounter various information that makes them angry, and around 15% consistently encounter information that falls into at least one of the following three categories: contrary to their views, unpleasant, distracting.

(March 2018) DO YOU EVER ENCOUNTER POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY OTHER USERS THAT ARE…(percentage of respondents that use social media)

always/very frequently from time to time Quite rarely Never It is difficult to say
CONTRARY TO YOUR OWN VIEWS? 9 43 28 17 5
UNPLEASANT? 8 38 31 19 5
BOTHER OR DISTRACT YOU? 9 35 29 22 5

More often than not, users ignore such information. In total, about 25% of social media users contact site administrators about or block content that falls into at least one of the following three categories: contrary to their views, unplesant, distracting.

(March 2018) HOW DO YOU HANDLE INFORMATION THAT… (percentage of respondents who use social media)

Block Contact site administrators Ignore I don’t encounter this kind of information It is difficult to say
IS CONTRARY TO YOUR OWN VIEWS? 10 5 72 11 3
IS UNPLEASANT? 15 3 67 12 3
BOTHERS OR DISTRACTS YOU? 17 3 64 14 3

Most social media users would like to see more information from people they know (67%). A quarter of respondents would like to hear about people who share similar views with them (24%). A small minority would like to see more content posted by people who have views that conflict with theirs (5%) or content posted by news agencies (5%).

(March 2018) WHAT KIND OF POSTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF ON SOCIAL MEDIA? (percentage of respondents who use social media)

Mar. 18
Posts by people who you know personally (friends, relatives, etc.) 67
Posts by people who you DON’T know personally, but who share similar views with you 24
Posts by people who you DON’T know personally, but who have opinions that are contrary to yours 5
Posts by news agencies 5
Advertisements for products and services that interest you 4
I don’t want to see any of the above 13
It is difficult to say 9

Translated by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly Monterey Institute of International Studies).

The ANO Levada Center has been forcibly included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here. [2]

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