Findings from a Pew report have shown that negative political comments on social media outweigh positive ones. “Relentlessly negative” was the phrase used, with both candidates’ poll ratings largely unchanged, despite campaign events.
Worst offender was Twitter–but that is probably because all the best jokes are the rude ones, and we all know that the best jokes are found on there. Presidential challenger Mitt Romney was the recipient of most of the negativity, while the current White House incumbent enjoyed a sharper increase of positive tweets in the final week of the study. Facebook is largely more positive, with Obama again the winner on two counts: the number of mentions and, of those, positive sentiment. Were there a “Dislike” button on the social network, however, Pew’s findings might be different.
What the study really proves, however, is two things: Social media is more popular amongst younger people than wrinklies; and the Internet is the best place to go hunting for snark.