I received a NEWS RELEASE (below) in an email today. I get this garbage all the time. This is how it goes: some study by college students trying to make a name for themselves or researchers start with the premise of a leftist ideological tenet and come up with the predetermined results.
In this case, some researchers at an ‘elite’ university claim President Trump’s tweets cause anti-Muslim sentiment.
The left isn’t the least bit concerned about the attacks on the right, the rising anti-Semitism, or the vicious abuse by leftist harpies and Antifa tyrants. They only care about Trump’s tweets.
If there is a rise in anti-Muslim sentiments, it’s directly related to the two hatemongers in Congress or some of their allies.
There is no way to eliminate all the variables and the fact is Donald Trump has said very little about the anti-Semite Ilhan Omar or the angry Rashida Tlaib. When he did, it was because they were exposing their hatred for America, Jews, and the right.
The so-called researchers aren’t saying the President’s tweets “directly cause hate crimes.” They call the President’s tweets anti-Muslim, but they aren’t. It’s simply not true.
The reason they aren’t saying it is because it’s so absurd, even the most mindless could see through that. They are suggesting he’s influencing thought.
This is another way for the left to silence us. The colleges are a disaster.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Karsten Müller | email@example.com
Social Media Linked to Surges in Anti-Minority Sentiment, Suggests New Study on Trump’s Presidential Campaign
Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Warwick find a close link between the adoption of Twitter, Donald Trump’s tweets, and spikes in anti-Muslim sentiment.
PRINCETON, N.J.—Does social media promote hostility against minorities? To answer this question, a new study by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Warwick examines the link between Twitter’s perhaps most prominent user – Donald Trump – and the recent rise in anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.
The 45th President of the United States is often cited as a prime example of how inflammatory comments on social media can increase anti-minority sentiment. Critics have claimed that Trump’s rhetoric both via social media and stump speeches has serious consequences. Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, for example, linked tweets by Trump targeting her Muslim faith to “an increase in direct threats on my life – many directly referring or replying to the president’s video”. In a particularly tragic example of social media’s potential influence, the perpetrator of a recent terrorist attack on a mosque in New Zealand used Facebook to livestream the shooting, which was followed by more than 200 people.
In the United States, the incidence of anti-Muslim hate crimes—one metric of Islamophobic sentiments—has increased since 2015, starting around the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. This rise in hate crimes has also been concentrated in areas where many people use Twitter. “But, these facts alone tell us little about a potential role of social media”, says Karsten Müller, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University and an author of the study. “Places where Twitter is popular are also different in a myriad of other ways.”
From correlation to causality
Although there has been a rise in both anti-Muslim hate crimes and President Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric on Twitter, how can we know whether the social media channel leads to or causes real-life actions? “We tried to find situations where there is some randomness in who is particularly exposed to social media”, says Müller. “This might allow us to say something about causality.”
Müller and co-author Carlo Schwarz make use of a “tipping point” in Twitter’s popularity: the service’s presence at the South by South West (SXSW) Interactive Festival and Conference in March 2007. During the event, Twitter activity increased to 60,000 tweets per day from 20,000 the week before. SXSW draws over 200,000 technology and arts leaders. The social connections of the early Twitter adopters at SXSW were key to platform’s success story. In the home counties of these early users, the volume of tweets shot up considerably in the months following SXSW. Indeed, these counties still have around 12% more Twitter users today. Importantly, this is still true after accounting for the locations of SXSW followers who signed up to Twitter before the event. While these earlier followers were likely highly similar to those attending the festival in March 2007, they were not instrumental for Twitter’s spread across the US.
Schwarz, a doctoral student at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, explains: “The idea is that we can2 control for the fact that people from particular cities, for example, might be more likely to attend a music and technology event like SXSW. That means we can test for the effect of social media using the fact that some people just happened to be at the festival precisely when Twitter showed up, and then told their friends and families about it after they went home.”
Equipped with this source of quasi-random variation, the researchers were able to confirm the patterns in the raw data. “Around the start of Trump’s presidential campaign, the home counties of the early Twitter adopters saw a clear upward shift in anti-Muslim sentiments. The rate of hate crimes as well as hashtags such as #stopislam and #banislam all went up”, says Schwarz. Their estimates suggest that a one standard deviation higher social media use was associated with a 38% larger increase in hate crimes against Muslims.
Could Trump’s tweets be one trigger for anti-Muslim sentiment?
To make sense of these broad patterns, the researchers went to one potential driver of anti-Muslim sentiments: Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. They found a clear pattern in the data. Trump’s tweets about Muslims tend to be followed by a higher frequency of anti-Muslim hashtags appearing on Twitter, increased reporting about Muslims by cable news stations, and a bump in hate crimes targeting Muslims. “It is difficult to pin down what causes what”, Müller acknowledges. “But one cue comes from the President’s golf habit, which appears to affect his behavior on Twitter.”
It turns out that on days on which the President golfs, his tweets contain fewer references to daily politics and more about minorities, especially Muslims. “Trump’s tweets about Muslims that are explained by whether he golfs are still highly predictive of anti-Muslim sentiments on the following days”, Müller explains. “This is at least suggestive that social media might indeed affect offline behaviour.”
The authors are keen to highlight the inherent limitations of any single study. “Of course, we do not claim that President Trump or Twitter are directly responsible for hate crimes”, says Schwarz. “Our reading of the evidence is that social media, especially when used by powerful individuals, can enable changes in what people think is socially acceptable. And this could also mean that a few potential perpetrators of hate crimes believe that their actions are less heinous than they really are.”
Read the paper
A working paper draft of the full paper is available on SSRN at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/
Note: This research is a considerably revised version of an older working paper entitled “Making America Hate Again? Twitter and Hate Crime under Trump”.
About the researchers
Karsten Müller is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at Princeton University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2018. His website is www.karstenmueller.eu.
Carlo Schwarz is a PhD student at the Department of Economics, University of Warwick and the ESRC Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE). His website is www.carloschwarz.eu.
This research was supported in part by the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy & Finance (JRCPPF) at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.