The COVID States Project# 97: Twitter, Social Media, and Elon Musk

Jonathan Schulman, Hong Qu, David Lazer, Roy Perlis, Katherine Ognyanova, Matthew Baum, Samantha Cadenasso, James Druckman, Jon Green, Alexi Quintana, Alauna Safarpour, Mauricio Santillana, Kristin Lunz Trujillo, Ata Uslu


Key Takeaways 1. Comparing our October 2022 survey conducted immediately before Elon Musk purchased Twitter to our December 2022-January 2023 survey, the percentage of Americans who reported using Twitter dropped from 32.4% to 29.5%. This decline was driven by Democrats, 38% of whom reported using Twitter in our survey before Musk took over the company, which dropped to 33% after. 2. 53% of Republicans trust Elon Musk to do what is right either somewhat or a lot, compared to just 24% of Democrats. 3. Democrats were 15% more likely than Republicans to trust Twitter to do what is right before Musk purchased the site, but trust among Republicans and Democrats converged to equal levels following Musk’s takeover, with 34% of both parties trusting Twitter to do what is right. 4. Republicans perceived a significant decrease in bias against conservatives on Twitter and an increase in neutrality after Musk took over, while Democrats saw a significant increase in bias against liberals and a decrease in neutrality since Musk bought Twitter. 5. Respondents regardless of party viewed other social media platforms as more neutral than Twitter.

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