Commander-in-Tweet: Why We Accept Shameful Behavior

New survey explains what Americans think about our tweeting President.

Posted Jan 23, 2018

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Source: Pixabay

We live in times where incivility is on the rise. In 2017 eight-four percent of Americans, according to Civility in America, said they had personally experienced some form of incivility. Sixty-nine percent blamed the internet and social media. 

In a 2017 PEW Research Survey, 66 percent of adults have witnessed online harassment while 41 percent have been victims. With young adults (age 18-29) almost two-thirds, 67 percent are digitally attacked online according to the PEW survey.

We frequently hear about children and teens bullying, cyberbullying, teasing and mocking each other—but now we are talking about adults. These are people that should be role-models for the younger generation. People we should respect. From parents, to teachers, to celebrities, to politicians—we all must be socially responsible for our online behavior.

All the Presidents Tweets

How do we explain when prominent people make dumb digital choices? Or maybe the question should be, how do we explain how many people agree with these choices?

It's been a year since President Trump was elected to office. To mark the first anniversary of Trump becoming President, YouGov TweetIndex provides an overview of how well received the Commander-in-Tweet’s updates have been, as well as showing what his most and least well-received posts have been.

Over the past year, YouGov TweetIndex has posted ratings on all 2,063 tweets the President has made from February 4, 2017 to January 19, 2018. Each tweet is assigned a score based on the results, from a potential high of +200 to a potential low of -200.

Last December a YouGov survey shared that over half of Americans (60 percent) believed that POTUS uses social media inappropriately. In August of 2017, according to another YouGov survey, the majority of Americans believe that the leader of our land is also the biggest cyberbully.

Today, according to the most recent overview from YouGov survey, the average Trump tweet has a score of -8 among all Americans, with 38 percent of the President’s tweets receive a net positive score among the general population.

Among Republicans, the average Trump tweet scores +97. In fact, out of all 2,063 of the tweets the President made over the time period, only one receives a net negative score among Republicans. Which one of the many tweets did they take issue with? The attack on billionaire Mark Cuban.

By contrast, among Democrats the average Trump tweet scores -85. Only 73 tweets have a net positive score.

Opinions among independents tend to be relatively close to those of the general population as a whole. The average tweet score among this group was -3, with 44 percent of Trump's tweets being seen positively overall.

Mean tweets

Some of Trump's most unpopular tweets have been when he takes on famous names such as Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (Morning Joe), Mark Cuban, Arnold Schwarzenegger and LaVar Ball.

Other tweets that Americans were not happy with were his attacks on former FBI director James Comey, "Sloppy" Steve Bannon, Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker as well as against the news outlet CNN.

Bringing civility back

It seems that some people have accepted this behavior as the new normal on social media. We are in the middle of listening to strong voices saying "times-up" for offline behavior. Maybe it's time we start cleaning up this place where the majority of people spend most of their time—online.

What will you do the next time you witness online shame?

Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that civility begins with us. Sixty-six percent of Americans have asked their friends to be kinder to each other. It’s important to remember that just because someone is an adult or has an important position doesn’t mean they are always the best role model.

Be careful not to perpetuate the hate with more anger and verbal violence (online or off). If you endorse digital discourse or forward mean memes, you are only continuing this rise of incivility. Don’t get caught up in the cyber-combat.

Let’s be mindful of our posts, what we share and who we endorse. Be careful not to be part of a campaign of hate. Remember, we can get more done as a team to bring this shame nation to a sane nation.

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