January 30, 2014

On Twitter, criticism exceeds praise for Obama’s speech

During and immediately after the State of the Union address, the overall reaction on Twitter was more negative than positive and virtually the same as last year’s verdict. The Pew Research Center used a combination of computer algorithms and human coding to analyze the reaction on Twitter in terms of the topics discussed as well as the sentiment expressed.FT_14.01.29_SOTUtwitter_favor_310

Obama’s attention to workplace equality triggered a good amount of the conversation.  The word “women” appeared more often than 30 other search terms in the Twitter discussion, followed by such domestic topics as education, jobs, healthcare reform and the economy. That marks something of a shift from a year earlier when the education ranked first, minimum wage ranked second and gun control and the deficit were also in the top five. The 2014 SOTU conversation was also a bit more robust (1.64 million tweets in four hours) than the year before (1.35 million).FT_14.01.29_SOTUtwitter_topics_420

Topics: Barack Obama, Politics Online, Social Media

  1. Photo of Paul Hitlin

    is a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project.

  2. is a Researcher at the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project.