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Most Twitter Users Don’t Follow Political Elites, Researchers Suggest

The Small Group That Does Displays Clear Political Biases

While social media platforms are the primary source of political information for a growing number of people, a majority of Twitter users do not follow either members of Congress, their president or news media, a new study suggests.

They are much more likely to follow Tom Hanks or Katy Perry than an elected official.

“Those users who do follow political accounts on Twitter, however, stick to insular online communities and mostly follow and share information from their political in-group.” — Magdalena Wojcieszak, lead author and professor of communication at UC Davis and the University of Amsterdam.

In other words, speaking to ongoing debates about so-called “echo chambers” on social media platforms, the small group of users who do follow political elites display clear political biases and engage with these elites in a very one-sided way.

The findings come after researchers from UC Davis and New York University analyzed four years’ worth of data from a sampling of 1.5 million Twitter users.

Read the rest of this article and related stories at UC Davis News.

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