An Introduction…

The internet has presented many new opportunities for research. With the development of social networks, people are able to interact in the digital world and form online communities that they would not be able to form offline. Just as we’re able to gather demographic information about people in real-world communities, we can now do the same online.

For my research project in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology course, I will focus on the social network Twitter. I will look in detail at the racial demographics of Twitter users in the U.S. in comparison to the racial demographics of internet users in the U.S. as a whole. Through data released by the Pew Research Internet Project, it is revealed that Twitter has a higher minority population than Facebook or LinkedIn (two major social networks). The minority population on Twitter is also higher than the minority population of all U.S. internet users.

The question is what is the cause of the demographic mismatch? I argue that much of Twitter’s diversity is due to the differences in how minorities use the social platform compared to other racial groups. This is evident by looking at how minorities interact on Twitter and how “Black Twitter” emerged. I will explain what “Black Twitter” is and how it has increased Twitter’s number of minority users.  

by - May 6, 2014