Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study of Congress: To tweet, or not to tweet, is unrelated to being in the hot seat

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
Study finds that electoral vulnerability doesn't influence whether members of Congress use Twitter and also explains why Republicans have a majority on Twitter.

Chock-full of questions about Twitter and Congress, political science major David Lassen found a mentor in Professor Adam Brown (@utahdatapoints) willing to guide him through the process of answering one significant question.

Are members of Congress more likely to use Twitter if they are vulnerable to losing their seat in the next election?

Surprisingly, the duo from BYU found that electoral vulnerability has nothing to do with whether these elected officials exercise their right to tweet.

In fact, the main things that influenced whether a member of Congress got on Twitter were their age and whether their party leadership encouraged tweeting.

Lassen and Brown will publish their research in a forthcoming issue of Social Science Computer Review.

During the early days of Twitter, Republican leaders invited youngsters like Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah (@jasoninthehouse) to speak before House Republicans about using the technology. Today Republicans continue to have a larger majority on Twitter than they do on Capitol Hill.

Though fewer in number, the Democrats do have some shining Twitter stars. Prof. Brown names Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri (@clairecmc) as one of the best at interacting with constituents through Twitter.

Lassen recently graduated from BYU, and the mentored research experience helped him launch into a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin.

"What we measured was an exploratory period where members of Congress were taking a look and dabbling with the technology," Lassen said. "Now the bigger question is how they are using it instead of if they are using it."

Currently about three-fourths of all members of Congress use Twitter, but many of those accounts have been delegated to staff members to run. Prof. Brown provides a rule of thumb for how "we the tweeple" can tell the difference.

"The actual members of Congress tweet about things like hamburgers and football games," Brown said. "When it's staff, the messages are all links to speeches and interviews. The strategy is to simply help the local press stay on top of the schedule."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. S. Lassen, A. R. Brown. Twitter: The Electoral Connection? Social Science Computer Review, 2010; DOI: 10.1177/0894439310382749

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Study of Congress: To tweet, or not to tweet, is unrelated to being in the hot seat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926144611.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2011, September 26). Study of Congress: To tweet, or not to tweet, is unrelated to being in the hot seat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926144611.htm
Brigham Young University. "Study of Congress: To tweet, or not to tweet, is unrelated to being in the hot seat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926144611.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 21, 2014) Bank of America's settlement is by far the largest amount paid by big banks facing mortgage securities probes. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins