Minority of Twitter users responsible for vast majority of political tweetsOctober 25, 20192 min read
Associate Professor of Law David Levine recently lent his expertise to a Washington Post article looking at who is posting tweets about U.S. politics on the popular social media platform.
The Oct. 24 article by reporter Marie Baca examined a recent report by the Pew Research Center that found that 10 percent of U.S. adult Twitter users generated 97 percent of tweets mentioning national politics. Those who were most prolific accounted for just 6 percent of all U.S. adult Twitter users, but authored 73 percent of all political tweets, the report found.
"It can be quite dangerous if you’re not taking a step back and saying, ‘What do I know about the sources of this information and who or what is behind it?’”
— David Levine, associate professor of law
Levine, who is the founder of the "Hearsay Culture" radio show about modern technology issues, noted that Twitter users who find themselves in an echo chamber populated by others who mirror their views could take less time to determine the origin or assess the truthfulness of information they receive in that chamber.
“It can be quite dangerous if you’re not taking a step back and saying, ‘What do I know about the sources of this information and who or what is behind it?’” he said. “It’s very easy psychologically, especially if you’re coming into it with a particular perspective, to go along with it.”
If Professor Levine can assist with your reporting about social media and online extremism, please reach out to Owen Covington, director of the Elon University News Bureau, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 278-7413. Professor Levine is available for phone, email and broadcast interviews.