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Democrats tweet more than Republicans, but Trump dominates everything

In case you needed a reminder that Twitter isn't the real world, the Pew Research Center found that 10% of users produced 92% of all tweets since last November. And 69% of those super-tweeters were Democrats.

Pew's latest study, "Differences in How Democrats and Republicans Behave on Twitter," paints a complicated picture of the tweeting electorate. Here are a few of the report's other key findings:

  • The most active 10% of self-identifying Democrats on Twitter tweet an average of 157 times a month, more than twice as many as the most active Republicans, who hit the Tweet button only 79 times a month.
  • The median Democrat follows 126 people and has 32 followers, and tweets once a month. Meanwhile, the median Republican follows 71 people, is followed by 21, and never tweets at all.
  • The Republicans surveyed tended to be roughly as conservative whether or not they used Twitter. But tweeting Democrats were significantly more liberal than non-tweeting Democrats.
  • Twitter users tended to be younger and more educated than non-Twitter users, regardless of party.
  • Both sides of the aisle have their go-to follows, but a few surprising names appeal to everyone. Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and CNN's breaking news account all had pretty even splits of Democrat and Republican followers.
  • Republicans were much more likely to follow Trump and Pence (38% followed at least one) than Democrats were to follow Biden and Harris (only 19%).
  • No matter which way you lean, you're talking to @realdonaldtrump. He was the most-mentioned account across the board. @joebiden came in third. In second place, oddly enough, was YouTube.
Overall, it seems Twitter represents a smaller, more liberal point of view than the actual electorate. And in general, even when it feels like everyone is talking all the time, it's really only a few voices being heard. And trying to chat with the president.

Martin Cooper with his original DynaTAC cell phone.

Photo: Ted Soqui/Getty Images

Martin Cooper helped invent one of the most consequential and successful products in history: the cell phone. And almost five decades after he made the first public cell phone call, on a 2-pound brick of a device called the DynaTAC, he's written a book about his career called "Cutting the Cord: The Cell Phone Has Transformed Humanity." In it he tells the story of the cell phone's invention, and looks at how it has changed the world and will continue to do so.

Cooper came on the Source Code Podcast to talk about his time at Motorola, the process of designing the first-ever cell phone, whether today's tech giants are monopolies and why he's bullish on the future of AI.

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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