Support The Moscow Times!

Russians Increasingly Get Their News from Social Media, Internet – Poll

Semyon Likhodeyev / TASS

A growing number of Russians get their news from social media and the internet, according to a survey published by the independent Levada Center pollster on Tuesday. 

Forty-two percent of Levada’s Russian respondents use social media to get their daily news, while 39% get it from the internet. While television remains the primary news source for Russians with 64% saying they watch television for news the figure represents a 21% drop from 2018. Previous Levada surveys have shown that Russians’ trust in television as a news source has fallen by 25% in the past decade. 

Among all respondents, 57% said they use social media on a daily basis, a 20% increase compared to a similar 2017 survey. Russian VKontakte remains the most popular social network, followed by YouTube and Instagram, which were accessed by 35% and 31% of respondents respectively. 

The study notes that the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok saw a surge in popularity, with 14% of Russian respondents saying they frequently use the platform.

Foreign-owned social media companies have come under increased pressure from the Kremlin in recent months as Russia’s opposition has been eager to use the increasingly popular platforms to call for anti-government demonstrations.

In January and February, several social media platforms took down Russians’ calls to protest in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny over the authorities’ claims that the posts illegally incited minors to attend unauthorized rallies. Soon after, Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of state-funded news outlet RT, called on the Russian government to ban foreign social media platforms from operating in the country altogether.

Levada conducted the survey among 1,616 respondents from 50 regions between Jan. 29-Feb. 2. 

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more