Literally, who are all of you? A survey released on Monday at SXSW revealed some of the answers to this question.

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New research on the demographic of commenters—conducted by the Engaging News Project under the University of Texas at Austin—found that 59 percent of Americans have posted a comment online at some point. Now, the world makes so much more sense.

77.9 percent of Americans have actually read the comments section on a site. But when it comes specifically to news sites, you guys are mostly ignoring each other. More numbers:

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  • Of those who have left a comment, 77.9% have done so via social media.
  • Just over half (50.7%) of Americans do not read news comments or leave comments on news sites.
  • Of those who leave news comments, 53.2% said they comment on news monthly or less frequently, and of those who read comments, 59.0% said that they do so a few times a month or less.

Also true: 100 percent of Jezebel readers are 100 percent perfect non-trolls.

Shocking is the fact that the majority of commenters on news sites are male, according to the study. And people really love furiously typing into the never-ending abyss about politics:

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  • Americans who leave news comments, who read news comments, and who do neither are demographically distinct. News commenters are more male, have lower levels of education, and have lower incomes compared to those who read news comments.
  • News commenters and comment readers most commonly name United States politics or domestic policy as the types of stories on which they comment or read comments.
  • 56% of those who comment on news say they do so to express an opinion, particularly when the topic is United States politics or domestic policy.

As for where people are more likely to comment, here’s a chart.

Feel free to drop your thoughts, feelings and comments on this commenters survey in the comments section below. All of us, including you, are definitely reading.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

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