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Americans Turning to Web For Expanded, Unfiltered Political Information

While some say the rise of Web sites such as Google and Wikipedia are leading to a dumbing down of America, the results of a recent poll suggest all these fancy Internets are in fact enabling people to be more well-informed, especially when it comes to politics.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project says that many Americans are rejecting the simple sound-byte style of modern political discourse by using the Internet to dig deeper into the issues. Nearly 30-percent of adults have used the Internet to read or watch unfiltered campaign material, such as full videos of debates, speech transcripts and candidate position papers.

According to the Pew report:
  • 35-percent of adults have watched a political video online during the primary season, compared with 13 percent during the entire 2004 presidential race.
  • 10-percent of adults have used online hangouts like Facebook and MySpace for political activity.
  • 6-percent of adults have contributed to a campaign using the Internet, compared with 2 percent in 2004.
  • 46-percent of Americans have used the Internet or cell phone text messaging for some political activity.
  • Senator Barack Obama is more likely than his opponents have been to benefit from this surge in online political activity: His supporters were twice as likely as Clinton or McCain supporters to have made a campaign contribution online.
This high level of online activity and interest isn't lost on the political parties. Both Obama and McCain have established huge online operations with a combination of official campaign sites and a heavy presence social networking sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.

Of course, we're for whichever candidate embraces LOLCats first. [Source: Newsvine]

Tags: breaking news, BreakingNews, McCain, Obama, Pew, political, YouTube