A year-long study conducted by the Pew Research Center has confirmed what we’ve known all along: Twitter is a rotten cesspool of smug, cynical douchebags consistently trying to out-mean and one-up each other. Oh, had you not noticed?
The study compared the tone of tweets to national polls regarding eight major national events, and found that though sometimes Twitter responses skewed liberal and sometimes they skewed conservative, they were almost always negative. Like, way more negative than the average member of the American public. “Often it is the overall negativity that stands out,” reads the study. We’re all a bunch of negative nancies, okay?
Still, the overall negativity on Twitter over the course of the campaign stood out. For both 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.
The study points out that the difference in opinion between Twitter users and the general public has a lot to do with the types of people who congregate on Twitter, specifically during newsworthy events. They tend to be younger and more Democratic, and tweets of those under 18 and in different countries were included in the study, whereas these demographics can’t participate in national polls. Also, they probably have seen Mean Girls one too many times.
Wait ’til the Gowanus Dolphin guy hears about this.