The general opinion in the Twittersphere may not reflect the reaction of the general public to events and policy decisions, a new study found. The Pew Research Center announced the findings of a year-long study on Monday, where researchers looked at the results of national opinion polls to the tone of tweets in response to eight major news events. But surprisingly, they didn’t consistently lean one way or another.
For example, after President Obama was re-elected, 77% of Twitter responses were positive compared to only 52% of poll respondents. Twitter was also more liberal than polled public opinion after the first Presidential debate in October and in response to California’s same sex marriage ruling. It was more conservative after Obama’s inauguration speech, the opinion of John Kerry after his nomination to be secretary of state and after the state of the union address.
For more comparisons of how Twitter users’ reactions and random people polled responded to events, click here.