They say if you talk about issues you can bridge divides. But it’s pretty clear, at least when it comes to white social media users, not only does a supermajority not post about race on social media, a good number also don’t see conversations around it.

A Pew Research study of 3,769 adults in all 50 states showed that 67% of white social media users won’t post about race, reporting they post nothing on the topic.


58% of Black, however, talk about race online with 27% doing so some or most of the time.

As social networks echo and spread what’s popular as well as of what your friends share, it tends to increase the silo effect, especially as three quarters of white people have no non-white friends.

If we don’t interact with each other – and people don’t have friends of different races – it’s going to be really hard to understand each other.

Considering how much it is in the news and of importance, it should be of little surprise that in turn, 68% of black social media users say that “at least some the posts they see on social networking sites are about race or race relations,” with nearly a quarter – 24% – who say this describes most of the content they see on social media.

There’s a lot less material seen in the feeds of the white community on social media around race. When it comes to whites, about a third say most (6%) or some (29%) of the content they see on social media is about race or relations. Nearly half – 48% – say that “only a few of the posts they see are about race or race relations,” and 16% say none of what they see relates to these topics.


Hispanics, which were also a data set, fell roughly in the middle.


For local context, a recent Bridge Magazine poll says when it comes to Metro Detroit, 56% of white people and 47% of black people think race relations are good here.

The racial makeup of Detroit area communities in some cases is changing quickly, as we’ve written about before. Talking about it – even if the conversations are awkward – might be the only way we truly move forward.

Here’s the study if you want to check it out.

Share this post