Do people online represent the opinions of people in the real world ?

Dec 2013
All over the world
Because more ideologues care more about politics than centrists. Does not mean there are no smart centrists out there.


Former Staff
Dec 2011
Phoenix, AZ
Most people I see online are very radical with their political views. Is it the same in the real world ?
Actually, we are becoming more polarized in our politics in the US, as Mann, and Ornstein illustrated in their report, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism. And, as much as the Republican apologists would like to claim otherwise, the empirical evidence that Mann, and Ornstein presented rather strikingly indicate that it is the Right that have made a mad dash for the Far Right, opposed to the Left moving away from the Center.


Former Staff
Feb 2007
I'd say some represent some people in the real world - but one thing to keep in mind is that the extreme and radical are only a few, but they are the most vocal and thus get heard the most. The internet is a perfect outlet for those people.

It's easy to say, without analysis or statistics that 99.999999% of all people are not extreme or radical like those you might find on a political forum or in the media.
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Feb 2011
Boise, ID
Most people I see online are very radical with their political views. Is it the same in the real world ?
No. I don't think they're extreme around here relative to the real world. I think they're more outspoken here than people are in the real world. People are uncomfortable revealing their political views to people in their daily lives. I also think people are more interested in these topics here than people in normal daily life tend to be.

I often must hold myself back from launching into many of the topics that interest me with people in my daily life, because they either don't know what I'm talking about and thus feel uncomfortable, or if they do, they'd just rather I not know what their true opinion is.

Sadly it seems it is almost taboo and regarded to be in poor taste to discuss political and economic issues openly anymore.

This is why I come here.
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Jan 2011
Rhondda, Cymru
People posting here are either less or more brainwashed than the majority, but they stand for bodies of opinion, whereas the media mostly just sell advertising and the opinions that please advertisers.
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Former Staff
Feb 2010
Where'm I At, Doe?
i think people turn it up a bit when they're online. I have conservative friends IRL and i don't even try to murder them or anything.