What is surprising is that the activities within the segregated groups are rather unexpected based on the social-media activities of right- and left- leaning groups leading up to the 2008 presidential election. Back then, according to the article “the Obama campaign enjoyed twice as much web traffic, had four times as many YouTube viewers and five times more Facebook friends compared to the McCain campaign.”
In 2010, the right-leaning crowd took the social-media lead, at least on Twitter. The team found that, compared to left-wingers, right-wingers are more likely to self-identify as such in their bios, spend more time talking about politics on Twitter and do so more often, as well as share more politically-related information in the form of hyperlinks.
The right wing group is more tightly interconnected, has a larger network of politically-minded followers and has “a higher degree of engagement with the Twitter platform itself.”
Finally, they used self-reported location data (as opposed to geolocation data) to determine where the groups are Tweeting from, geographically speaking. While there is some overlap between the Twitter map and political party maps, the team accounts for the discrepancy by saying that perhaps outliers in a politically homogenous community turn to Twitter for their discourse, which seems like a reasonable enough explanation to me.
Bruno Gonçalves originally shared this post:
Here's another Twitter-analysis post for all you network science junkies out there. And although I'm a bit late to the table (New Scientist reported on this a week ago) I couldn't resist. …