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Twitter, the Elite Network

Twitter, the Elite Network

Dr. Sascha Hölig examines in a study to what extent the athmosphere on Twitter reflects the current athmosphere within society. The conclusion: Twitter fails as a mood barometer. In an interview on WDR 5, he spoke today with Anja Backhaus about the "elite network" and about the risks it holds when it is overrated by journalists and decision-makers.

That Twitter cannot serve as an image of our society is due to the fact that the actual figures of users in Germany are very small, explains Hölig in the interview. Only one per cent  of the population in Germany uses Twitter on a daily basis. And about 90 per cent of them only use it passively. The number of those who actively participate in Twitter discourse and contribute to the mood on Twitter is very small.
Moreover, according to Höllig's study, active Twitter users have special personality traits. They are more opinionated, extroverted and generally less anxious than the rest of the online community. This does not reflect a representative picture of society as a whole.

The whole interview is available at the media library of the WDR.

(25 September 2018)


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