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Noise to information… July 14, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This from the Atlantic on Twitter is interesting. For all its much vaunted influence the piece notes that despite the froth of excitement on the platform over the released of the Mueller Report, supposedly the defining moment of the Trump presidency, there was no impact at all on his poll ratings – negative or positive. Indeed the government shut-down impacted much much more strongly on his popularity. Worse again, for those who are overly attached to it, Twitter users aren’t representative of the public at large.

This can’t come as much of a surprise to people, surely? I was always struck when commenting on Politics.ie by their polls. These were so hugely out of sync with general public opinion that after a while they were almost comforting. And the piece notes that twitter (and this is true of Politics.ie too, and no doubt this site) has more politically active or politically interested people involved than the society at large.

Which means that those who use such platforms (or this site too come to think of it) as touchstones may be making some significant errors. And the piece addresses the curious ‘flattening’ effect of twitter, though I think this is true of other areas too, where every outrage becomes almost equivalent – controversies don’t have a ranking order because of the nature of the medium.

Comments»

1. Dermot M O Connor - July 14, 2019

Yeah, the pie poll on abortion had the anti side on +65%, the exact opposite of the public position. The minority of posters on that site who aren’t reactionary twats had a good laugh about that one.

Similar with the twitter-storms / toxic fandoms / SJW / Chan / alt.right headcases – these are a tiny % of people who generate a phenomenal amount of cheap heat…but they’re really not representative of the public at large.

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