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Study: Paul Discussed Most Favorably on Twitter Study: Paul Discussed Most Favorably on Twitter

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Study: Paul Discussed Most Favorably on Twitter

Overall, discourse via tweets is more negative than blogs or mainstream media.

photo of Ethan Klapper
December 8, 2011

Although Rep. Ron Paul hasn't been polling well and doesn't get much attention from the mainstream media, the story is very different for the Texas Republican on Twitter.

Fully 55 percent of tweets about Paul from May through November were positive, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Only 15 percent of tweets about him were negative, it found.

That stands in stark contrast to Paul's GOP presidential rivals as well as President Obama. In fact, negative opinions about five of Paul's Republican rivals outnumbered positive ones by approximately 2 to 1. Negative opinions of President Obama on Twitter outnumber positive ones  3 to 1.

 

The study made comparisons between how candidates are portrayed on Twitter and how they're portrayed in the blogosphere and the mainstream media. Compared to blogs and mainstream media, tweets were found to be more intensely opinionated — and typically more negative medium. The conversation was also more active: statements about candidates on Twitter outnumbered those on blogs by a 9 to 1 ratio.

"If the difference in volume between Twitter and blogs is indicative of something about the volume of the discourse in those two universes, it suggests that tweeting— with its trim 140-character format that readily invites the instantaneous observation — is a more frequent activity than blogging," the study's authors wrote.

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