Published on 10 Feb 2022

Incidental exposure to news on social media makes politically apathetic people more "apathetic"

Lianhe Zaobao, page 11

A study by NTU has found that the more often people are inadvertently exposed to news in the social media, the more their political engagement decreases among those who are already uninterested in politics. Asst Prof Saifuddin Ahmed at NTU’s WKWSCI who led the study said the findings differed from what is generally observed in Western democracies. In those countries, people who do not care about politics tend to get involved in the political process and learn more after it after getting exposed to social media news.

The reason is because the information they receive through social media originated from close friends and relatives whom they care and respect, which motivates them to click the link and read more. In Singapore, the findings revealed point towards a more politically apathetic social climate. People who are not interested in politics may become weary after repeated exposure to political messages in society, therefore further reducing their already low level of political participation.