Politically-engaged social media users stuck in echo chambers, study finds

Study looks to prove online social media echo chambers exist

Politically engaged Twitter users are more likely to interact with others who support the same party and share articles from publications which match their beliefs confirming the existence of online echo chambers.

According to a study of 2,000 Twitter users from thinktank Demos, Labour supporters were weighted more towards publications Demos classes as centre-left or leftwing, whereas Ukip supporters were more engaged with ‘alternative’ media outlets such as Breitbart and Infowars as well as accounting for more than half of links posted to articles on the Daily Mail, Daily Express, the Sun and Guido Fawkes.

Studying the tweets from those who publicly identified as Labour, Tory, Ukip or SNP between May and August last year, the results found that supporters were more likely to retweet or mention other users from the same party.

Supporters of all parties were also less like to interact with rival party supporters with the highest rate of crossover coming from Tory and Ukip supporters.

Report author Alex Krasodomski-Jones commented that though the study wasn’t representative of the broader population of Twitter users, it did provide a small of Twitter’s “political classes” who were more likely to be engaged in politics outside of the platform.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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