NPR Fans Do Not ‘Swear Like Sailors’; Rather, They Are ‘Polite’ and ‘Knowledgeable’

NPR recently surveyed more than 40,000 of its Facebook fans. And in addition to asking about basic usage habits, NPR wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable with the tone of NPR Facebook conversation. The internet can get rowdy, after all:

Around the office I sometimes hear concerns from staff that our Facebook users are too snarky and swear like sailors…. When we asked Facebook users to agree or disagree with a number of adjectives that could be used to describe comments, they most readily agreed with words like “lively,” “civil,” “polite” and “knowledgeable.” In contrast, they generally disagreed with adjectives such as “vulgar,” “loud,” and “irreverent.” Somewhere in the middle were “useful,” “snarky” and “reputable.” 

Also, respondents expressed what was surely a very civil and polite request for “significantly fewer stories about sports and ‘rich, powerful or infamous people.'”