New Pew Study on the Internet and Civic Engagement

The tech blog, Ars Technica, has an interesting review of a new Pew Internet and American Life Project study on the impact of the web on civic participation. Finding, among other things, that there is a positive correlation between household income and civic engagement – “the well to-do and well-educated are more likely than those less well off to participate in online political activities such as emailing a government official, signing an online petition or making a political contribution” – their research also showed a closing of the gap when civic participation occurs through social networking sites like Facebook.

Still, the report shows lower online civic participation even among income groups that have similar levels of web access: “the ability to take action online is not necessarily bringing into political activity the kinds of people who do not usually take part.”

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