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Study claims Twitter is full of Trump’s greatest foes and most devoted fans

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If you're talking politics on Twitter, in all likelihood you're either preaching to the choir, or letting your arguments fall on deaf, angry ears.

A study from Pew Research Center has yielded some new data about the role politics and political leanings play on Twitter. Overall, it showed that Trump's paranoia about his enemies might hold some water: 55 percent of Twitter users "strongly disapprove" of President Trump, and that contingent produces 80 percent of tweets. They're closing in!

And only a meager 15 percent of Twitter users "strongly approve" of the president which is, well, not a lot.

One of the most interesting findings was how intensely polarized the digital landscape is: 97 percent of Twitter users who tweet about national politics either "strongly disapprove" or "strongly approve" of President Trump.

That passionate population skews (ostensibly) very liberal, too: 72 percent of political tweets come from people who "strongly disapprove" of the president, while 25 percent of the political tweeters "strongly approve" of the tweeter-in-chief. That means if Trump (and his supporters) feel attacked, it's because they're surrounded by vocal ideological opposites.

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This dynamic could explain why Twitter is widely known as one of the most combative places on the Internet, a truth that Twitter itself is trying to remedy through efforts to improve "conversational health." If political speech is dominated by only the people who feel "strongly" about our commander-in-chief, that's bound to breed strong takes, and explosive non-debates.

Conversely, the findings also provide statistical support for the idea of Twitter (and social media more generally) as a political echo chamber, in particular. About one in five people who don't tweet about national politics said they believe they follow people with the same political views as themselves. However, a higher proportion — 38 percent — of people who do tweet about politics say they follow people with the same political views.

SEE ALSO: Twitter asks researchers to help make site less toxic

Pew studied the accounts, tweets, and self-reported political predilections of 2,427 U.S. adults between June 2018 and June 2019. It had previously found that only 22 percent of U.S. adults are Twitter users, which was surprising given the dominant role that Twitter plays in U.S. politics.

The recent study further confirmed that apparent outsize influence of Twitter on politics. Pew also found that just 13 percent of the tweets it studied were about national politics. Further, only 10 percent of the users who tweeted about politics were responsible for 97 percent of the content. Put another way: 39 percent of twitter users tweeted about politics at least once. But only 10 percent of that 39 percent is responsible for the vast majority of the political tweets on the platform.

Study claims Twitter is full of Trump's greatest foes and most devoted fans

Basically, the study shows that a small amount of people are talking a lot of politics, and those people are extremely polarized. No wonder Twitter's most common epithets include "echo chamber" and "cesspool."

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