According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, which shows that more than a third of Batswana population (34%) now use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or other social media every day for news. The study looked into the use of social media between 2014 and 2019.
The result is twice as many as 5 years ago when the use of social media platforms stood at 18%. In 2017, around 30% of residents relied on social media for news.
The study also shows that daily use of social media for news is much higher amongst citizens with post-secondary education, the younger generation (53% of those aged 18-26), and urban residents (50%). It also found that majority of social media users are men.
Surprisingly the study shows that citizens aged 66 years and above use social media more than those aged between 56 and 65 years.
“Most citizens praise social media as helping make them better informed, more effective citizens, but most also believe it makes people more susceptible to false news and intolerance,” read the survey.
91% of Batswana said that social media makes them more informed and helps them have more impact on political processes, but in the same time, majority believe that social media makes users more likely to be affected by fake news and more intolerant of people with different political stances.
“People who say unrestricted access to social media should be protected outnumber, by 52% to 38%, those who say it should be regulated because it’s dividing Batswana”.