October 16, 2019

Under the Influence: Survey Results

Exclusive Research: The Webbys and YouGov Survey Rise in Internet Fighting

Each year, The Webby Awards examines our extensive body of entries to determine emerging trends on the Internet and how they are shaping our lives and work.

This year, we recognized a clear theme: fighting. 

As online platforms and algorithms exploit our desire to engage with controversy—by creating a constant feedback loop of provocative content—we are seeing far more fighting on the Internet, with consequences in our offline lives.To further understand what’s going on here, how the general Internet public is receiving this cultural shift online, and what people want and expect from the industry, The Webbys partnered with YouGov to conduct a survey of 4,000 adults across the U.S.

Our research dives into this trend, why, how, and where it’s happening, and the types of work people actually want while living in a culture of conflict.

People aren’t sure why they’ve navigated to social media and what they see when they get there doesn’t leave them satisfied. 

  • When asked about the main reasons that they open social media, 47% of respondents said “to pass time or because it’s a habit.”
  • Meanwhile, 53% of respondents report being “rarely satisfied” with what they see in their social media feeds.

Most people are ready to fight, even if it’s not what they’ve come to do — and it is having an impact on their lives offline: 

  • While fighting is everywhere you look online, only 3% of people report actually wanting to see arguments or fights when logging onto social media.
  • However, 54% of respondents say they participate in online arguments.
  • And 31% of people have ended a relationship due to an exchange online.

We’re exploring this topic, supported by YouGov’s research, with this year’s Webby Talk, “Under the Influence: How the Internet exploits our desire for a good fight and leaves us wanting more.” Check our schedule and get in touch about booking a Talk when The Webby Awards is in your city.

Learn more about the Webby Talk here.