Twitter users in US more likely to be Democrats: Study

Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues.

Twitter users in US more likely to be Democrats: Study
Photo: AFP

San Francisco: Twitter users are younger, more highly educated, more likely to identify as Democrats and have higher incomes than US adults overall, says a new study from Pew Research Centre amid allegations of anti-conservative bias against the social media platform.

US President Donald Trump earlier criticised social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter for anti-conservative bias.

A parliamentary committee in India earlier this year summoned top Twitter executives for alleged bias against “nationalist” accounts.

The new study by the Pew Research Center showed that 36 per cent Twitter users are likely to identify with the Democratic Party compared with 30 per cent of US adults generally.

For the study, the researchers conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,791 US adult Twitter users who were willing to share their Twitter handles.

The results showed that most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10 per cent create 80 per cent of tweets from adult US users.

The analysis indicates that the 22 per cent of American adults who use Twitter are representative of the broader population in certain ways, but not others.

Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues.

For instance, Twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country and to see evidence of racial and gender-based inequalities in society, the Pew Research Center found.

Individuals who are among the top 10 per cent most active tweeters also differ from those who tweet rarely in ways that go beyond the volume of content they produce.

Compared with other US adults on Twitter, they are much more likely to be women and more likely to say they regularly tweet about politics, the study said.