On Twitter, Tea party and left wing tweeters stay separate - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

On Twitter, Tea party and left wing tweeters stay separate

Image courtesy of Digital Trends Image courtesy of Digital Trends


By Kate Knibbs
Provided by


Twitter is the site of plenty of political chatter. But for people with opposing views, Twitter isn't exactly a place to come together and micro-blog towards a better understanding. Instead, it's a highly polarized environment where right wing and left wing thinkers keep to opposite corners. 

In 2012, the Obama administration started a social media campaign asking Twitter users what $2000 would mean to them. It was meant to highlight how necessarily it was for Congress to strike a deal. What it primarily did was show how divided the country was over the issue. 

Researchers traced the responses to that Twitter campaign in a study called "Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters."

"If a topic is political, it is common to see two separate, polarized crowds take shape. They form two distinct discussion groups that mostly do not interact with each other. Frequently these are recognizably liberal or conservative groups," the paper reads. "The structure of these Twitter conversations says something meaningful about political discourse these days and the tendency of politically active citizens to sort themselves into distinct partisan camps." 

There are other kinds of Twitter topic crowds other than the strictly polarized — people also bunch up into tight communities around specific topics, and form support groups. But clustering off and separating is common. 

This discovery underlines how important it is to consume media from social networks with the understanding that your biases and preferences have helped curate a bubble of information that may be very different than the overall public opinion. Just because everyone on your Twitter feed is freaking out over something doesn't mean the rest of the world is. And while Twitter is a powerful platform for discourse, if people elect to stay in their chosen bubbles and never see the viewpoints of other crowds, their perspectives become myopic. 

So basically, Twitter politics can be like when I was growing up and I thought that, like, at least 80% of the world was Irish-Catholic because that was my community. Or like when I was in undergrad and I started thinking that the word "hegemonic" was something people normally dropped in conversations. If everyone around you is one way, it can trick you into thinking that's how the world is. 


This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

Content provided by
INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • 2 local schools in the Vans Custom Shoes Contest

    2 local schools in the Vans Custom Shoes Contest

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:34:53 GMT
    (Source: FleishmanHillard)(Source: FleishmanHillard)

    Edon Schools in Defiance County and Onsted Schools in Lenawee County are in the running.

    More >>

    Edon Schools in Defiance County and Onsted Schools in Lenawee County are in the running.

    More >>
  • 2 local departments in the Smell and Tell firefighter video challenge

    2 local departments in the Smell and Tell firefighter video challenge

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:33 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:33:50 GMT
    (Source: Columbia Gas)(Source: Columbia Gas)
    (Source: Columbia Gas)(Source: Columbia Gas)

    With the $5,000, the winning department could buy equipment to save lives.

    More >>

    With the $5,000, the winning department could buy equipment to save lives.

    More >>
  • Council seat decided at the polls in two weeks

    Council seat decided at the polls in two weeks

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:31 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:31:33 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    THIS AIRED IN THE A BLOCK OF THE 5 In two weeks voters will head to the polls, and in North Toledo or District 6, they’ll be choosing between four candidates for their council person. The seat was vacated by current Lucas County Treasurer Lindsay Webb in January. All 4 candidates agree on two hot topics in the district. They want to keep the jail downtown, and off of the proposed location in the district at Detroit Avenue and Alexis Road. ...

    More >>

    THIS AIRED IN THE A BLOCK OF THE 5 In two weeks voters will head to the polls, and in North Toledo or District 6, they’ll be choosing between four candidates for their council person. The seat was vacated by current Lucas County Treasurer Lindsay Webb in January. All 4 cand

    More >>
Powered by Frankly