Frequency of reading news on technology platforms

Mar 2, 2021

Q. How frequently do you use technology platforms like Google and social media to search for and read news articles?

  Mar’21 Sep’20
At least daily 49% 52%
At least once a week 24% 22%
At least once a month 7% 8%
Less frequently than one a month 10% 6%
Never 11% 11%
Base (n) 1,074 1,076

 

  Total Age Group
  18-34 35-54 55+
At least daily 49% 51% 58% 38%
At least once a week 24% 28% 25% 20%
At least once a month 7% 10% 6% 5%
Less frequently than one a month 10% 7% 6% 17%
Never 11% 4% 6% 20%
Base (n) 1,074 326 363 385
  • Just under half (49%) of adult Australians use Google and social media to search and read news on a daily basis (down 3 percentage points since Sep’20). A further 24% use these platforms at least weekly.
  • People aged 35-54 are the heaviest consumers of news through Google and social media, with 58% using these platforms on a daily basis.

Support towards measures to regulate big tech companies

Mar 2, 2021

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose the following measures if they were introduced to regulate big tech companies?

TOTAL: Support Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Force tech companies to remove misinformation and disinformation from their platforms 76% 74% 77% 70% 69% 87% 75% 76% 85% 75%
Require tech companies to let you know all the information about you they hold and give you the right to remove it from their servers 76% 75% 76% 70% 71% 85% 78% 77% 81% 72%
Prevent tech companies from selling your personal information to other companies 79% 79% 79% 73% 75% 88% 78% 80% 85% 80%
Enforce upon tech companies the payment of tax on all Australians earnings 69% 73% 65% 57% 64% 84% 71% 71% 67% 74%
Base (n) 1,074 527 547 326 363 385 335 396 106 138
  • Support is highest among those over 55 towards preventing tech companies from selling your personal information to other companies (88% compared to 75% of those 35-54 and 73% of those 18-34).
  • Those over 55 are also more likely to strongly support the measure to force tech companies to remove misinformation and disinformation from their platforms than younger cohorts (68% to 46% 35-54 and 44% 18-34).
  • While support is high overall towards requiring tech companies to let you know all the information about you they hold and give you the right to remove it from their servers, again, those over 55 are more likely to strongly support this than younger audiences (63% to 51% 35-54 and 46% those 18-34).

Concern towards removal of Google search and Facebook news

Feb 2, 2021

Q. The Australian government has proposed new rules that will mean companies like Google and Facebook have to pay news media companies for the use of their content.

In response, Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia and Facebook has threatened to remove news from its feed for all Australian users.

How concerned are you at the prospect of not being able to use these services if they are removed by Google and Facebook?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Very concerned 25% 25% 24% 28% 33% 15% 25% 23% 29% 27%
Quite concerned 32% 34% 31% 45% 30% 23% 36% 33% 34% 30%
Not that concerned 24% 20% 27% 17% 23% 31% 25% 23% 22% 24%
Not at all concerned 19% 21% 17% 10% 14% 31% 14% 22% 16% 19%
TOTAL: Concerned 57% 59% 56% 73% 63% 38% 61% 56% 62% 56%
TOTAL: Not concerned 43% 41% 44% 27% 37% 62% 39% 44% 38% 44%
Base (n) 1,092 532 560 318 391 383 361 400 97 126
  • Slightly more people are concerned about the prospect of not being able to use Google search and Facebook news if they are removed than those who aren’t concerned (57% vs 43%).
  • Those who are 18-34 are most concerned (73%), followed by those 35-54 (63%). Those over 55 are not as concerned compared to younger cohorts (38%).

Frequency of reading news on social media platforms

Sep 8, 2020

Q. How frequently do you use technology platforms like Google and Facebook to search for, and read news articles?

  Total Age Group
  18-34 35-54 55+
At least daily 52% 46% 64% 46%
At least once a week 22% 26% 20% 21%
At least once a month 8% 16% 5% 4%
Less frequently than one a month 6% 5% 4% 9%
Never 11% 6% 7% 19%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385
  • Half of adult Australians use social media platforms like Facebook and Google to search and read news on a daily basis (52%). A further 22% use social media weekly to access news.
  • People aged 35-54 are the heaviest consumers of news through social media, with 64% using a platform on a daily basis.

Google agreement statements

Sep 8, 2020

Q. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is drafting code of conduct legislation to force technology platforms, like Google and Facebook, to pay media organisations for the news content they distribute.

In response Facebook has threatened to stop its users sharing news and Google has warned its free web search is at risk.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 49% 22% 23% 26% 29% 13% 9%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 38% 26% 15% 23% 36% 15% 12%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 54% 17% 26% 28% 29% 11% 6%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 51% 19% 23% 27% 30% 12% 7%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 29% 35% 12% 18% 35% 19% 16%

 

  Total Age Group Frequency of news consumption on social media
TOTAL: AGREEMENT 18-34 35-54 55+ At least daily At least once a week Less than once a week Never
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 49% 36% 49% 60% 51% 48% 42% 49%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 38% 45% 39% 32% 42% 38% 31% 27%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 54% 38% 54% 66% 55% 55% 43% 60%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 51% 36% 53% 61% 51% 49% 43% 61%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 29% 35% 33% 21% 34% 30% 22% 16%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385 570 239 149 118

 

  Total Age Group Frequency of news consumption on social media
TOTAL: DISAGREEMENT 18-34 35-54 55+ At least daily At least once a week Less than once a week Never
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 22% 30% 20% 17% 23% 21% 28% 15%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 26% 22% 24% 33% 27% 23% 26% 30%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 17% 25% 16% 12% 20% 17% 17% 10%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 19% 27% 18% 14% 22% 16% 19% 11%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 35% 31% 34% 40% 35% 36% 31% 42%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385 570 239 149 118
  •  Around half of people agree that big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power (51%) and they should support Australian media rather than bullying the government (54%).
  • People aged 18-34 were more sympathetic to social media platforms and had the lowest agreement that government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news (36%), they have too much power (36%).
  • 34% of daily social media users agree they would use the platform less frequently if it stopped offering news content.

Trust in groups to protect privacy

Oct 9, 2013

Q. How much trust do you have in the following groups to protect your privacy?

 

 A lot of trust

Some trust

A little trust

No trust

Don’t know

Your internet service provider

13%

37%

29%

18%

3%

Google

7%

27%

31%

32%

4%

Facebook

4%

11%

23%

57%

5%

Twitter

3%

9%

18%

55%

15%

The Australian government

9%

32%

33%

22%

4%

The US government

4%

19%

28%

43%

7%

Over half of people have no trust in Facebook (57%) or Twitter (55%) to protect their privacy. Just under half have no trust in the US government to protect their privacy (43%).

Very few people (13% or less) have a ‘lot of trust’ in the organisations listed to protect their privacy.

Just 41% of people have a lot/some trust in the Australian government to protect their privacy.

Those aged 18-24 (42%) and 25-34 (44%) were less likely to have no trust in Facebook. While those aged 35-44 (60%), 45-54 (66%), 55-64 (62%) and 65+ (63%) were more likely to have ‘no trust’.

The same theme was repeated for Twitter, with those aged 18-24 (31%) and 25-34 (45%) being less likely than those aged 35-44 (58%), 45-54 (63%), 55-64 (64%) and 65+ (63%) to have ‘no trust’.

Liberal/National voters were more likely to have a lot/some trust in the Australian government to protect their privacy (54%). Labor (33%) voters were less likely to have a lot/some trust in the Australian Government to protect their privacy.

 

Use of online media

Oct 23, 2012

Q. How often do you use the following online media –

 

Total use at least once a week

At least daily

Several times a week

About once a week

Less often

Never

Can’t say

Google

89%

52%

27%

10%

6%

5%

1%

Facebook

67%

46%

12%

9%

10%

22%

*

Newspaper websites

57%

22%

17%

18%

23%

20%

1%

Other news websites

55%

18%

20%

17%

23%

21%

1%

Blogs

21%

5%

7%

9%

23%

55%

1%

Websites about social and political campaigns

18%

3%

6%

9%

25%

55%

1%

Twitter

15%

6%

5%

4%

13%

71%

1%

52% say they use Google at least daily and 46% use Facebook at least daily.

Google is used more by – aged 18-24 (74% daily), aged 25-34 (63%), Greens voters (65%), income $1,600+ pw (61%).

Facebook is used more by – women (53% daily), aged 18-24 (82%), aged 25-34 (60%), Greens voters (55%).

Newspaper websites are used more by – aged 25-34 (28% daily), Lib/Nat voters (25%), income $1,600+ pw (30%).

Other news websites are used more by – men (42% at least several times a week), aged 25-34 (48%)

Blogs are used more by – aged 25-34 (38% at least once a week), Greens voters (45%), income $1,600+ pw (28%).

Campaign websites are used more by – aged 25-34 (31% at least once a week), Greens voters (40%).

Twitter is used more by – aged 18-24 (24% at least once a week), aged 25-34 (29%), Greens voters (26%).

Importance of online media for news and information

Oct 23, 2012

Q. How important are the following online media to you personally for news and information?

 

Total very/quite important

Very important

Quiet important

A little important

Not important

Can’t say

Google

52%

24%

28%

26%

19%

3%

Newspaper websites

43%

17%

26%

29%

24%

4%

Other news websites

41%

14%

27%

29%

27%

4%

Facebook

28%

13%

15%

23%

48%

2%

Websites about social and political campaigns

16%

4%

12%

21%

57%

6%

Blogs

12%

3%

9%

21%

62%

6%

Twitter

9%

3%

6%

8%

75%

8%

Google is the most important source of news and information (52% very/quite important). Although Facebook tends to be used more frequently, it is not as important as news websites for news and information.

Google is more important to – aged 18-24 (71% very/quite important), aged 25-34 (59%) and incomes over $1,600 pw (57%).

Newspaper websites are more important to – aged 25-34 (54% very/quite important) and incomes over $1,000 pw (51%).

Other news websites are more important to – aged 25-34 (50% very/quite important).

Facebook is more important to – aged 18-24 (51% very/quite important) and aged 25-34 (43%).

Websites about social and political campaigns are more important to – aged 18-24 (23% very/quite important), aged 25-34 (25%) and Greens voters (33%).

Blogs are more important to – aged 18-24 (19% very/quite important), aged 25-34 (21%) and Greens voters (23%).

Twitter is more important to – aged 18-24 (17% very/quite important) and aged 25-34 (20%).

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