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Old 07-31-2019, 09:22 PM
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Internet support intensity vs. real world support


I've notice that some of the democratic candidates seem to have far more intense levels of support on the internet than they seem to have in the real world. I'm thinking specifically of Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard. Any ideas on why this is occurring? Are the reasons different for each of the three candidates. Could any of this be due to foreign troll farm type activity? I don't know, but would like to know what the story is here.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:26 AM
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I've notice that some of the democratic candidates seem to have far more intense levels of support on the internet than they seem to have in the real world. I'm thinking specifically of Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard.
Well, I think it is well understood that "people who interact/protest a lot on the internet" and "voters" are not largely overlapping.

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Could any of this be due to foreign troll farm type activity? .
Could be. They would probably push for candidates that they think would not win in the national election.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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I think Yang has a small group of very vocal supporters.

Williamson has a little of that, but I think she’s also getting troll/4chan support because she is so out there.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:52 AM
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This isn't a phenomenon limited to Presidential candidates. The internet gives birth to lots of intense fringy groups. I'm sure you can find lots of reading on the subject but basically people can more easily find people with similar fringy views, get into a social media bubble and whip themselves up.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
I've notice that some of the democratic candidates seem to have far more intense levels of support on the internet than they seem to have in the real world. I'm thinking specifically of Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard. Any ideas on why this is occurring? Are the reasons different for each of the three candidates. Could any of this be due to foreign troll farm type activity? I don't know, but would like to know what the story is here.
Absolutely, at least in the case of Sanders, we know that he received Russian support in 2016.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
I've notice that some of the democratic candidates seem to have far more intense levels of support on the internet than they seem to have in the real world.
I'm not doubting your premise, but what is it that you have noticed and how are you perceiving that there is a difference?
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:13 PM
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I spend a lot of time online and tend to scan comments sections. Now Gabbard and Yang are hovering at, what, 1 or 2 percent but any mention of them tends to generate a lot of positive comments (most of which also take potshots at other candidates). Now with Bernie, I get it. Second time around the track. A lot of devoted followers, etc. Yang, I can even understand that. The novelty factor. The Outsider. But how do you explain Tulsi?
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:54 PM
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I think that the internet gives fringe groups a community that enables them to seed messages and build communities. What's changed since the days of Ron Paul (2002-2005) is that payment platforms made funding easier.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:29 PM
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There's a nice expression someone I follow on Twitter who analyses this sort of stuff uses: Cuomo's Law


The meaning of it is that during the New York Gubernatorial Primary last year between incumbent Andrew Cuomo and the actress turned progressive activist Cynthia Nixon, social media would have made you think Nixon was set to win and win big. Comments on Cuomo were exceedingly negative whereas Nixon became a social media sensation. Furthermore in their sole debate Nixon called him corrupt, a liar, a corporate shill. She really went all out.

Come the election result - Cuomo won with almost 66% of the vote.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:52 PM
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So why aren't the candidates with larger followings having the same thing happen with them? I mean if you can get that many folks from the smaller following of Candidate X why aren't you getting the same thing only more so from the larger following of Candidate Y?
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:00 PM
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So why aren't the candidates with larger followings having the same thing happen with them? I mean if you can get that many folks from the smaller following of Candidate X why aren't you getting the same thing only more so from the larger following of Candidate Y?
You do, to a degree, but they are swamped out by "normal" people. In both of Hillary's primaries, there was definitely some knife out Hillary or bust types circling the internet.

But if you don't have some oddball ideas then you are somewhat less likely to attract oddball followers.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:36 PM
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Simple explanation. The candidates you mention are all more popular with young voters than older ones, and younger people use the internet more. There are a lot of Biden voters out there, but most of them need to call their grandkids to help them log into AOL.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:55 PM
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Yeah, I see it as the Dewey Defeats Truman effect. Back then, the headline was allegedly based on polls to people with phones in their home. Gauging public opinion by watching Twitter in 2016 or 2019 is basically the same as getting opinions only from people with home phones in 1948.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:57 PM
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Simple explanation. The candidates you mention are all more popular with young voters than older ones, and younger people use the internet more. There are a lot of Biden voters out there, but most of them need to call their grandkids to help them log into AOL.
Or, a more charitable description would be, they exist in the real world, not just online.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:06 PM
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I just read the OP. I didn't want to read the other comments until I made my own, (I will).

There is a huge disconnect between TV people and YouTube people. Running a TV at on a highly rated show is not the best way to get across the people under a certain age, often. People don't watch NBC Fox or CNN for their news, on the very left they watch 'David Pakman' 'Secular Talk' 'Young Turks' and 'The Minority Report with Sam Seder.'

They're whole different worlds.

Some people are really out of touch with that.

Last edited by MyFootsZZZ; 08-08-2019 at 03:09 PM.
  #16  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:10 PM
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Bernie was just on Joe Rogan Podcast the other day and it's still 1 trending on YouTube.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:10 PM
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Or, a more charitable description would be, they exist in the real world, not just online.
They exist on Facebook.

Go to a major news outlet's page (not right wing obviously) and the comments on pieces about Biden are much more supportive. Do the same on twitter and it's much more negative.

For two reasons I think...

1) Facebook has an older demographic of users
2) Twitter is much more informal and open to echo chambers.

Number 1 is pretty obvious. Number 2 reflects that facebook is personal and formal --- people use their real names, their family and friends see your posts and it's supposed to be about connections. Twitter however allows for more anonymity, it allows you to curate your feed in a manner much more user friendly (you can hours scrolling through twitter or using a basic search to see what's happening...people aren't refreshing their facebook feeds every two minutes).

Take the Biden fundraiser comments that caused so much furore. It happened because a reporter present tweeted out an isolated (without context) quote and in minutes it blew up. You don't have that power of outreach on facebook. But what you do have on facebook are rank and file voters who do not consume themselves with politics or spend their entire days online. Biden is reaching those voters.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Boycott View Post
Take the Biden fundraiser comments that caused so much furore. It happened because a reporter present tweeted out an isolated (without context) quote and in minutes it blew up. You don't have that power of outreach on facebook. But what you do have on facebook are rank and file voters who do not consume themselves with politics or spend their entire days online. Biden is reaching those voters.
And the numbers seem to suggest that group is still predominant, in spite of what others may wish.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MyFootsZZZ View Post
I just read the OP. I didn't want to read the other comments until I made my own, (I will).

There is a huge disconnect between TV people and YouTube people. Running a TV at on a highly rated show is not the best way to get across the people under a certain age, often. People don't watch NBC Fox or CNN for their news, on the very left they watch 'David Pakman' 'Secular Talk' 'Young Turks' and 'The Minority Report with Sam Seder.'

They're whole different worlds.

Some people are really out of touch with that.
And those people are out of touch with the other world. Goes both ways.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:21 PM
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Young people won't forgive bidding for what he said about millennials.


...just wanted to add that.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:23 PM
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And those people are out of touch with the other world. Goes both ways.
I agree however I've seen the other world too I've been pretty to both. One dissects the other much like The Daily Show did or used to.

But things can be taken out of context, too.


If it were Bernie and Trump who would swallow their pride and vote for Bernie? If it were Biden and Trump do you think that kids care about Trump being reelected?

I hope so.

Last edited by MyFootsZZZ; 08-08-2019 at 03:27 PM.
  #22  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MyFootsZZZ View Post
I agree however I've seen the other world too I've been pretty to both. One dissects the other much like The Daily Show did or used to.

But things can be taken out of context, too.


If it were Bernie and Trump who would swallow their pride and vote for Bernie? If it were Bernie invited with the kids show up to vote?
Oh, I'm not endorsing one side over the other. I just like to point out that EVERYONE, the youngs included, can end up in a media bubble. And it pays to be generally aware of the numbers to understand where the broader population is.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:28 PM
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Oh, I'm not endorsing one side over the other. I just like to point out that EVERYONE, the youngs included, can end up in a media bubble. And it pays to be generally aware of the numbers to understand where the broader population is.
I agree... By the way I edited that last part it didn't make any sense.

Last edited by MyFootsZZZ; 08-08-2019 at 03:28 PM.
  #24  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:36 PM
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Look at the UK. Jeremy Corbyn is popular on Twitter and Reddit. Theresa May was despised. In some real life polls for who would be the better PM...Undecided beat the pair of them!
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:07 PM
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But while Warren was disappointing her more serious Democratic allies, she was titillating the online left by devoting her time to crafting childish tweets. Warren wrote passive-aggressive indirect responses to peripheral conservative figures with no profile outside social media. She buried Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in an avalanche of greatly aggrieved tweets attacking him for refusing to silence political advertisers with whom she disagreed—a campaign of agitation to which Dorsey replied simply, “We haven’t announced our new rules yet.” She attempted to demonstrate her hipness by linking her war on capital markets to pop culture by suggesting the song artist Taylor Swift had become private equity’s most visible victim. She redefined car accidents as “traffic violence,” and pledged to end it. Somehow. Don’t think too hard about it.

But while Warren was being called “president of Twitter clapbacks” by apple-polishing Millennial bloggers, she was bleeding support in the polls. The senator has lost ground in the Real Clear Politics national average of primary polls relative not just to Joe Biden but Bernie Sanders. She’s lost over eight points in that measurement in the space of just six weeks. The story is much the same in Iowa, where Warren has shed five points from her October peak and ceded momentum to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In New Hampshire, the Bay State’s backyard, Warren’s position deteriorated by eight points in roughly the same timeframe.
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/p...zabeth-warren/
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:47 PM
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Conservative pundits are perhaps not the best choice to cite about Democratic politics. As in this piece, they cherrypick to find the worst things to say.

In the long run, they may be right - everybody but one person will lose the nomination, after all - but they are saying what their constituents want to hear rather than being objective.

Yeah, this is a generalization, but I haven't yet found a counter-example.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:16 PM
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Man... I can barely read my own posts in this thread. I apologize if people can't get the gist of what I'm saying. I think I'm good a rereading my posts before I send them, and it turns out to still be a disaster.

It's a little embarrassing.
  #28  
Old 01-31-2020, 02:16 PM
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The Twitter Electorate Isn’t the Real Electorate
Social media is distorting our sense of mainstream opinion.



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The Twitter Primary drives its members to extremes, while chilling the speech of outsiders. An excess of certainty leads activists to bad decisions and misapprehensions. Spend enough time on Twitter and you could believe that Corbyn “won the argument” in December, despite losing the general election. The postmortem on Labour’s defeat risks being hampered by a pervasive sense on social media that the party didn’t really lose, not really: Well, everyone I know voted for Corbyn. Activists may intellectually concede the reality of the Conservatives’ 80-seat majority, but it doesn’t feel like the Tories won. And that means there is less reason for them to support a change in tactics.

The small-p politics of culture journalism is also affected by tweeters’ lack of awareness of being exceptions rather than representatives of mainstream opinion. The journalist Jesse Singal recently published a post arguing that “super-wokeness is mostly an elite phenomenon.” Singal noted that Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix show was widely condemned in ways that suggested everyone was offended by it, although, as he wrote, “the best data we have suggest that the vast majority of Americans view political correctness as a problem … The opinions most commonly represented in mainstream progressive outlets are not held by the masses, including by the groups seemingly with the most at stake.” He’s right: Ultra-liberal attitudes to race and gender are indeed not held by the masses, including racial minorities. But, crucially, they are held by the peers of the journalists writing those pieces, with whom these journalists hang out on Twitter. Once again, the cloistered world of Twitter is creating a false sense of consensus.
A good piece on how Corbyn was set to win a landslide according to Twitter only to lose in the biggest landslide his party has suffered in 90 years when it came to real voting.

Corbyn and his party spent the whole of 2019 demanding a snap election so they certainly believed they could win. And incredibly one of Team Corbyn's self-reflective analysis is "despite the party’s defeat, the party leader “gained more likes and retweets on 12 December [election day] than UK Labour or Boris Johnson in the entire campaign”.

https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...rimary/604690/

Last edited by Boycott; 01-31-2020 at 02:18 PM.
  #29  
Old 01-31-2020, 02:59 PM
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Everything I've been reading lately points to the correctness of Boycott's point.

Decades ago we all watched Walter Cronkite. We didn't all read the N.Y. Times, but our local papers often carried top opinions via syndication. Many of us lived in segregated communities, but when the underclass rioted it was on the 7 o'clock news.

Nowadays print media is almost dead. For televised news many turn to shrill voices like Maddow or Hannity. An idiot of any ilk can create his own lying website for a few dollars; even here at SDMB we see links to such sites apparently posted more-or-less in good faith. The predominance of Fake News has led many Americans to act as though all News is Fake. With news habitually slanted, and reporting priorities quite faulty, strikes and protests no longer get fair coverage. Instead, outrage and concern focus on contrived issues.

Lies and propaganda are the new norm. Even commentators on the "correct" side of an issue can turn off potential converts with their exaggerations and excessive "correctness." The country is divided into the Informed and the Misinformed, with the latter group an ever-growing majority. The Misinformed Majority is ripe for manipulation by Putin, the Koch Brothers and other malicious agents.

Campaign finance reform might help a little, but with the Supreme Court now firmly controlled by the evil-doers we can expect little progress. That Court continues to rule in favor of GOP suppression of voters likely to favor reforms. In America, income inequality is rising. School quality is declining. Politicians with real solutions are laughed at. Many voters focus on guns, guns, guns.

European countries have not yet had their democracies as thoroughly destroyed as that of the U.S., but they're moving in the same direction. Billionaires hold unprecedented power. As Western values erode, expect the "benevolent dictatorships" of East Asia to become the new model.

How can anyone imagine the outlook isn't very grim?
  #30  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:14 PM
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I just got done playing the "Totally Unrigged Primary" game that was put out by Samantha Bee's show, Full Frontal. You sign up for the game and align yourself with a candidate, and answer questions about the primary race every day for points. Since the game started on Oct 31, Andrew Yang has been the frontrunner by about 2 million points over Warren (meaning the people who backed Yang's collective score is about 2 million more than the Warren supporters' collective score). Yang only had 19,000-some supporters to Warren's 22,000-some supporters but either Yang's supporters were that much better at answering questions, or Warren supporters stopped answering questions as soon as they signed up.

You could make a donation in the game, which would end up going to the winning candidate. So Andrew Yang just got $49k in PAC money from this game, even though he's polling so low. Warren supporters (me!) are not too excited about that.

FWIW the game shook out like this:
Yang - 13,796,531 pts / 19,934 players
Warren - 11,776,662 pts / 22358 players
Buttigieg - 3,095,340 pts / 8071 players
Sanders - 2,311,927 pts / 6785 players
Klobuchar - 1,164,516 pts / 2132 players
Biden - 535,226 pts / 1744 players
Bloomburg - 142,095 pts / 432 players
Gabbard - 81,339 pts / 472 players
Steyer - 72,096 pts / 245 players
Bennett - 60,445 pts / 125 players
Patrick - 24,487 pts / 97 players
Delaney - 16,637 pts / 51 players

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to see Yang being the random frontrunner the whole time (not Warren or Sanders or Biden). But of course, it's not random. Apps are where Yang supporters are at.
  #31  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:41 PM
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Social media and narrowcasting has definitely made our bubbles worse and it can greatly amplify or diminish the perceived support of a candidate.

I’ve mentioned that no one in my bubble supports Biden yet he constantly polls strongly. Those polls aren’t fake, they just remind me that my bubble and social circle are very different than those across the USA. I have to remind myself that on a given day, the only people I interact with that don’t have a college degree are the doorman at my apartment building, the maintenance and cleaning staff, Uber drivers, and maybe bartenders or servers. At my last job, there were only a few without degrees and they started running tickets on the floor of the CBOT to learn the financial markets the day after they graduated high school.
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2020, 08:08 PM
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Brutal

https://i.imgur.com/wLRhrcT.jpg
  #33  
Old 04-17-2020, 09:49 PM
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And of course Biden came back and smashed all the internet favorites in the Super Tuesday primaries because while their supporters could be very loud online they couldn't bring themselves to actually vote. The real world always wins a contest involving reality.
  #34  
Old 04-18-2020, 08:00 AM
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Ron Paul had a lot of fans online and he had way less votes.
  #35  
Old 04-18-2020, 08:06 AM
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Yeah, I read somewhere recently that Twitter is just terrible for its predictive value. Maybe at 538?

Something like only 20% or a bit less of Twitter accounts represent people instead of causes or corporations and of that 20% less than 10% post more than once per month.

So when you're hearing a newsie talking about 'Twitter users say' or 'Twitter trends' what you're hearing is 'An unrepresentative sample of less than 2% of Americans believe...'

Using Social Media as any form of marketing/propagandizing is only useful is something gets picked up and shared in more mainstream, broadly viewed media.
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