We all suspected this, but a new study proves that Republicans were 4.6 times more likely to get suspended from Twitter than Democrats leading up to the 2020 election.
According to the study, 9,000 politically active Twitter users, made up of 50% Republican and 50% Democrat accounts, shared election hashtags in October 2020. 35.6% of the Republican users were suspended, while just 7.7% of the Democrat users were suspended throughout a sixth month period.
Interestingly, the study does not label these findings as supportive evidence for “Twitter [showing] political bias in its suspension practices.”
The study claims instead, “[these findings] could be explained entirely by the tendency of Republicans to share more misinformation.” Suggesting that “a users’ misinformation sharing was as predictive of suspension as their political orientation.”
Republicans Suspended More On Twitter
Notably, the way the study defines misinformation is based on the “trust” ratings of 60 websites from a previous study. Which gave mainstream media outlets like The New York Times and CNN high trust ratings, while giving independent media outlets such as Breitbart News and The Daily Wire low ratings.
In other words, the study’s claims that Republicans were more likely to be suspended because they share more “misinformation” is based on the assumption that independent media is untrustworthy. Linking information accuracy to a media site’s trust rating, rather than to the legitimacy of the information itself on a case by case basis.
As if mainstream media outlets have never, nor could ever be wrong. Remember when the New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop was considered “Russian disinfo?”
Regardless, the study showed that Republican users who shared links to non-mainstream media outlets were more likely to be have their Twitter accounts suspended. Which subsequently gives us behind-the-scenes intel on how Twitter most likely determines what is considered “misinformation” on its platform.
This study also provides insight into where Republicans and Democrats are sourcing their information from. Thus highlighting a much bigger societal problem for the nation as people on both side of the aisle are virtually living in different realities based on who they are listening to for their news and information.
One thing is for certain, this study proves that Big Tech is using its power and resources to silence more Republican accounts than Democrat ones, with no evidence of the social media giant curbing or mitigating those results.
Perhaps Elon Musk will spark the (much needed) change soon.