An Awful Lot Of Americans Are Internet Commenters, According To Research

Who? What? Hello? According to a survey released Monday at SXSW, a surprising percentage of the population participates in the delightful bloodsport of internet commenting culture. The survey — conducted by the Engaging News Project out of the University of Texas at Austin — reveals that 55 percent  of Americans have posted a comment online and 78 percent have read the comments.  Lord.

Take a gander at these hot stats.

  • 55% of Americans have left an online comment and 77.9% have read the comments at some point.

  • Of those who have left a comment, 77.9% have done so via social media.

  • Just over half (50.7%) of Americans do not read news comments or leave comments on news sites.

  • Of those who leave news comments, 53.2% said they comment on news monthly or less frequently, and of those who read comments, 59.0% said that they do so a few times a month or less.

Cool! Everyone loves to say something, but no one wants to actually engage in conversation. And, in news that should surprise no one, Americans love to tappity-tappity at their keyboards about politics. Here’s some other stuff that makes me want to take to my bunker and hide until the election is over.

  • Americans who leave news comments, who read news comments, and who do neither are demographically distinct. News commenters are more male, have lower levels of education, and have lower incomes compared to those who read news comments.

  • News commenters and comment readers most commonly name United States politics or domestic policy as the types of stories on which they comment or read comments.

  • 56% of those who comment on news say they do so to express an opinion, particularly when the topic is United States politics or domestic policy.

Ah! Discourse! So cool to know that, as Salt’n’Pepa foretold, that everyone really does have an opinion and the internet has facilitated their ability to share said opinion! What a time to be alive.

Please feel free to share your opinions about having opinions and posting said opinions in the comments section of this very website, thank you! :)