The adage in African literature that one does not point to his village with the left hand is true for political commentary. People within the same political group often do not criticize their own political figures and ideas as much as they mock those on the opposite side. This is increasingly verifiable on social media where political slamming of those outside one’s own political movement is on the rise. This story published by Cambridge University is written by Fred Lewsey:
Social media posts about the “political outgroup” – criticising or mocking those on the opposing side of an ideological divide – receive twice as many shares as posts that champion people or ideas from one’s own political tribe.
This is according to a study led by University of Cambridge psychologists, who analysed over 2.7 million Tweets and Facebook posts published by either US media outlets or Members of Congress from across the political spectrum.
Researchers also found that each additional word referencing a rival politician or competing worldview (e.g. ‘Biden’ or ‘Liberal’ if coming from a Republican source) increased the odds of a social media post being shared by an average of 67% across the dataset.
Read the full story here.