The Pew Research Centre report found that people who used social platforms for news were less informed about major public affairs topics and more susceptible to believing rumours and hoaxes.
The report comes with social media platforms becoming a growing source of news amid struggles by traditional media in the digital age.
The Pew report found some 18 per cent of respondents in the survey got most of their political and election news via social media.
But those people were less likely to correctly answer fact-based questions about politics and current events than those relying on print, broadcast or news apps.
Social media news consumers were more aware of specific false or unproven stories about the coronavirus and said they had seen more misinformation about the pandemic such as claims that Vitamin C could prevent infection, the survey found.
On political news, social media users were less informed about facts such as the function of the state-by-state Electoral College votes, which ultimately decide who wins the White House, or the unemployment rate.