Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Election Night Was a Second Screen Extravaganza

If you are reading this there are very good odds that you spent all or part of election night online. Because, why wouldn’t you?

Still, here’s some data that shows how commonplace that behavior was, beyond your personal filter bubble: A third of the country followed the returns last week online.

And most of them were “second screeners,” who used both the TV and the Internet to keep up.

That’s via new research from the folks at Pew, who have other stats that make intuitive sense.

For instance: The younger you are, the more likely you were to be online, and/or to use the Web as your only source of news.

Bear in mind that while lots of folks will assume that “online” equals “Facebook and Twitter,” it really just means “online” — ask Nate Silver and the New York Times. Only 8 percent of voters said they followed the returns on social networks. But Obama voters (11 percent) were much more likely to do so than Romney voters (4 percent).

The full report is here; the part you care about is here.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik