Twitter is a rubbish indicator of elections

TwitterPundits who use twitter to predict the outcome of elections are wasting their time, according to the Social Science Computer Review.

Recent elections have seen social media and particularly Twitter used as a method to poll support for particular candidates.

The SSCR has looked at the numbers and decided it is difficult to predict the outcome of an election based on the amount of Twitter buzz.

Twitter data was a more accurate measure of the level of interest in candidates rather than the level of support they will receive.

“Negative events, such as political scandals, as well as positively evaluated events, such as accomplishments, can underlie attention for a party or candidate,” said the study.

In other words the analysis does not support the simple more tweets, more votes’ formula.

A video clip of a candidate’s campaign gaffe broadcast on the nightly news might lead to a spike in Twitter attention, but likely not result in more overall political support, according to the study.

The data also showed that Twitter users did not necessarily reflect the demographics of the population as a whole. In the United States, social media platforms like Twitter and Yik Yak are often more popular among millennial voters.

Twitter disagrees claiming that a Time magazine website report that showed Twitter chatter favoured the winning candidates, Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, in the Iowa caucuses this month.