Twitter is often seen as a kind of mood barometer, even by journalists and politicians. But who actually creates the mood? Dr. Sascha Hölig, Senior Researcher at Hans Bredow Institute in Hamburg, compared active twitterers with the total population on the Internet. The groups differ significantly from each other: active twitterers have stronger personalities, they are more extroverted and less anxious than the other Internet users – and they have a higher tendency to narcissism. Men are strongly over-represented. The political orientation of active twitterers is broadly distributed and includes a significant proportion of extreme left and right positions. The other Internet users, in contrast, group themselves more homogeneously around the political center; extreme orientations are the exception here.
Hölig’s conclusion: Twitter is “rather unsuitable as a barometer of mood for the concerns of society”.
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Photo: Hans Bredow Institute