Whereas it may be tempting to view conversations on Twitter as a cross-section of public opinion, a brand new Pew Analysis Heart examine finds the demographics of energetic customers diverge from these of the overall U.S. inhabitants. The examine discovered that 10% of Twitter customers generate the majority of tweets on the platform — and of that subset, 69% determine as Democrats.
Conservatives proceed to complain that Silicon Valley firms and social media platforms exhibit overt bias towards them. Whereas the Pew examine doesn’t refute or assist that concept, it does point out that Democrats usually tend to be prolific Twitter customers.
For the examine, Pew carried out a sequence of surveys wherein Twitter customers have been requested to share their handles in order that they could possibly be validated as actual individuals. Pew finally targeted on 3,518 particular person accounts within the U.S.
The primary discovering just isn’t totally shocking: Energy customers dominate the platform. In accordance with Pew, 10% of customers produce 92% of all U.S. tweets. Pew discovered that the median U.S. grownup Twitter consumer posted only one tweet per 30 days. For Democrats, that common is one tweet per 30 days, whereas for Republicans it’s nearer to zero.
Pew then took a deeper look into the political make-up of these energy customers.
The examine discovered that 69% of what are described as “extremely energetic customers” recognized themselves as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. Inside that almost all energetic subset, researchers famous that the 10% most energetic Democrats tweeted 157 occasions per 30 days in comparison with 79 occasions for the 10% most energetic Republicans.
“Most U.S. adults on Twitter submit solely not often,” the examine says. “However a small share of extremely energetic customers, most of whom are Democrats, produce the overwhelming majority of tweets.”
Throughout the classes of Democrats and Republicans, one other necessary distinction emerged: Democrats on Twitter are likely to lean a bit additional to the left than non-Twitter Democrats. In accordance with Pew, 60% of Democrats on Twitter described themselves as “liberal” in comparison with simply 43% of Democrats who don’t use Twitter.
In distinction, Republican Twitter customers appear to be extra in step with normal conservative sentiment. The examine mentioned 60% of Republican Twitter customers and 62% of Republicans who don’t use Twitter thought of themselves to be “very or considerably conservative.”
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