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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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Twitter Gets Investigated By Ireland Over Data Collection

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages

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Twitter CEO
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

 Twitter is reportedly facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system, the media reported.

Privacy regulators in Ireland have launched an investigation into exactly how much data Twitter collects from t.co, its URL-shortening system, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

The investigation stems from a request made by UK professor Michael Veale under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive European privacy law under which EU citizens have a right to request any data collected on them from a given company.

Facebook, Twitter
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, left, accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But when Veale made that request to Twitter, the company claimed it had no data from its link-shortening service. The professor was sceptical, and wrote to the relevant privacy regulator to see if Twitter was holding back some of his data.

Now, that investigation seems to be underway. The investigation, first reported by Fortune, is confirmed in a letter obtained by The Verge, sent to Veale by the office of the Irish Data Privacy Commissioner, the report said.

Initially designed as a way to save characters in the limited space of a tweet, link-shortening has also proved to be an effective tool at fighting malware and gathering rudimentary analytics.

Twitter
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Those analytics services can also present a significant privacy risk when used in private messages.

Also Read: Facebook Tackles Fake News, Deletes Almost 800 Accounts

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages, although no wrong-doing was conclusively established in either case. (IANS)