In a country where the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the Democratic Party may be getting led astray by a small but vocal minority on social media.
A Pew Research Center study released February 3 found that “The political views and primary candidate preferences of Democrats on Twitter differ from those who are not on the platform.”
The report released some dire numbers, including how “The 29% of Democrats who use the platform are more liberal and less inclined to say the party should elect a candidate who seeks common ground with Republicans than are Democrats who are not on Twitter.” These same liberals also “express different preferences” for whom the Democratic Party should choose to be its 2020 nominee.
With liberals running the company, it’s no wonder that liberals dominate the platform.
Twitter’s employees donate overwhelmingly to far-left candidates. According to OpenSecrets.org, a project of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics,Twitter staff gave $109,456 to politicians for the 2020 cycle. As of early February, the biggest recipient for donations was Democratic primary candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), followed by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who dropped out.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even mourned the departure of Andrew Yang from the race, who was a proponent of radical economic reform such as Universal Basic Income.
Another reason might be because Twitter has ways of controlling the conversation. One example is Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy,” which can be used to ban users for misgendering trans people. In other words, referring to a trans individual as their biological gender is not allowed. In one major incident, Twitter banned feminist Meghan Murphy’s account for tweeting such statements as “Women aren’t men” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” When moderates are not able to counter the radicals, the discourse goes off the deep end.
The study also expounded further on how different Twitter-using Democrats are from those who do not use Twitter: “About two-thirds of Democrats who do not use Twitter (65%) say it is more important for a Democratic candidate to seek common ground with Republicans, even if it means giving up some things Democrats want.”
By contrast, a smaller percentage of “Twitter-using Democrats (54%) take this view; 45% prefer a candidate who will push hard for policies Democrats want, even if it makes it much harder to get some things done.”
This clear divide is made manifest among Democrats’ choice of presidential nominee as well. “Democrats on Twitter are 11 points less likely to name Joe Biden as their first choice for the nomination than Democrats who are not on Twitter,” reported Pew.
The more left-leaning Twitter liberals’ candidates of choice appear to be on the hard left, “such as Elizabeth Warren (+8) and Bernie Sanders (+7),” who “receive higher levels of support among Twitter-using Democrats than among those who are not Twitter users.”