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Mapping the Politics of Social Media


In an election year, it’s hard for every detail of our lives to not be seized on by political campaigns and skewed in a way that forces us to think Dem or GOP. How much insurance does your employer provide? How much student debt is weighing you down? What’s your favorite episode of “Mad Men”? Now, even your precious social media tools and preferred apps aren’t safe.

Engage, a Republican consulting firm in DC, has put together an infographic mapping the most popular social media tools, websites and games to whether you may skew Democrat versus Republican and how engaged you may be in politics. While being a big Tumblr user may mean that you’re a passive Obama supporter, using PayPal may indicate that you’re an active Romney fan. By compiling thousands of Facebook “Likes” and the political affiliations of the user bases of many social properties, Engage used predictive modeling and tied political preferences and engagement to a person’s choice of social media.

Engage’s President, Patrick Ruffini, writes on their site that, “many of the results intuitively make sense. Sites that tend to skew more Republican include those oriented towards commerce and personal finance — like PayPal, eBay, Zillow and LinkedIn…Sites that index higher for political engagement include Quora, BuzzFeed, and Wikipedia, which emphasize information and knowledge.” Thankfully, Angry Birds still looks like a swing vote. Farmville, as it turns out, is passively partisan.

How does this infographic map to your own politics and engagement? Do you believe there is any truth to a preferred social media tool or app signaling to the level of a person’s political involvement? Are YOU a secret Democrat/Republican?

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