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Study reveals than Sensational Tweets are more popular than substantive Content

Analyzing tweets sent before, during and after the US Presidential elections, a study has shown Twitter has become more of a tabloid these days

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New York, Feb 20, 2017: Sensational tweets have more staying power than substantive posts on the microblogging platform Twitter, says a study.

In other words, posts about provocative topics are retweeted more by users, thereby making Twitter appear more like a tabloid than a substantive discussion forum for a casual user, the study suggests.

 The findings are based on analysis of tweets sent before, during and after the Republican primary debates leading up to the 2016 US presidential election.

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“Whereas during the debate tweets focused on a mix of substantive topics, the tweets that had the longest staying power after the debates were those that focused on the more sensationalist news events, often through pictures and videos,” said the study by researchers from University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University in the US.

“As such, a user coming to Twitter after the debate was over would have encountered a different topical and emotional landscape than one who had been following the site in real-time, one more closely resembling a tabloid than a substantive discussion forum,” the study said.

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The study found that entertaining or sensational posts wash out more substantive tweets overtime, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported on Monday.

Twitter has a greater impact on political discourse than other social mediaplatforms because Twitter users often see content from people they do not know, one of the study authors Ron Berman from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, was quoted as saying.

Twitter users can search using a hashtag or trending topic to see public tweets from a diverse population of users. (IANS)

 

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Social Media Users at Twitter, Instagram Go ‘Blue’ in Support of Sudan

The Army cracked down on the demonstrators and destroyed the encampment, the nerve centre of the protest that led to the overthrow of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

In a bid to raise awareness about the current volatile situation in Sudan, social media users in large numbers have turned their profile picture blue.

While some Twitter and Instagram users have made the profile picture circle appear solid blue, others posted a solid blue square as an image. Some have done both.

Instagram has so far recorded close to 18,000 posts with the hashtag #BlueForSudan.

“It is time to stand hand in hand. Their voices must be heard. #BlueForSudan,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Ignorance is worse than violence.. Stand with Humanity, Stand with #sudan #BlueForSudan,” wrote another.

Some users have also posted the drawing of a crying woman wearing a hijab to draw attention to the political crisis in the north African country.

The violence in Sudan followed a couple of months after the ouster of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

UN Chief, Sudan Protesters
Sudanese protesters use burning tires to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country’s Transitional Military Council hand over power to civilians, in Khartoum, Sudan, June 3, 2019. VOA

The trigger for social media users to turn blue was the death of a young man who was allegedly killed during a crackdown on protesters on June 3.

“Those who are taking part in spreading #BlueForSudan. The colour blue came from a warm hearted, martyr known as, Mohammed Hashim Mattar, my cousin who has passed away on the 3rd of June, as he was standing proud. Blue was his fav colour, which now presents unity. Mattar’s Blue,” tweeted one user.

To honour his death, Mattar’s friends and family put up the blue colour on their profiles, but others soon followed.

The Sudanese government last Thursday said that 46 people were killed in “recent events” that began with an assault on a protest camp earlier this week in the capital Khartoum, while the opposition Committee of Doctors said at least 108 people had died.

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In what was the first official death toll since a military crackdown on a camp that had been set up for two months, the Sudanese Undersecretary for the Health Ministry, Suleiman Abdul Jabbar, said in a statement that the toll had not reached 100, Efe news reported.

Sudanese security forces last Monday raided an encampment that had been set up in front of the Army headquarters since April 6 and began firing to clear the area.

The Army cracked down on the demonstrators and destroyed the encampment, the nerve centre of the protest that led to the overthrow of long-running President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. (IANS)