Twitter is not the world: Or America, for that matter. In a new study from Pew Research, reactions to events on Twitter often are detached from society’s reactions as a whole. While Pew found that Twitter consensus moves back and forth from liberal to conservative, what really sticks out is just how much more negative Twitter discussions can be.
For both [presidential] candidates, negative comments exceeded positive comments by a wide margin throughout the fall campaign season. But from September through November, Romney was consistently the target of more negative reactions than was Obama.
And as always, it’s important to understand the limitations of Twitter’s reach.
The overall reach of Twitter is modest. In the Pew Research Center’s 2012 biennial news consumption survey, just 13% of adults said they ever use Twitter or read Twitter messages; only 3% said they regularly or sometimes tweet or retweet news or news headlines on Twitter.
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP