🔍 EXPLORE: Politicians Have Gotten Meaner in Recent Years
A new study finds Twitter incivility up among members of Congress.
This information will not surprise the #DigitalDetectiveSquad, but a new study in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science found that it’s not our imagination! Political discourse on Twitter has gotten meaner in recent years. The study’s results indicate that “the people running these accounts are learning from [the Twitter] metrics they can see and [are] doing more of whatever gets likes and retweets.” And what’s earning them those likes and retweets? You guessed it: negativity. This type of name-calling, confrontational language, and general nastiness represents a shift. In 2009, the most uncivil tweets got less than 2x as many retweets as their more polite counterparts. However, by 2019, they got 15x more. This data could prove a powerhouse discussion starter for Digital Detectives. Additionally, we think the Triggers Lens offers valuable insight into this phenomenon.