WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – If you’re active on Twitter, you may think you’re only sending out 140 characters when you share your thoughts and feelings online.
But a new study finds you’re unknowingly letting people know your socio-economic status.
Researchers at Penn State collaborated with Johns Hopkins University and University College London to analyze over 5,000 Twitter users and more than 10 million tweets.
“No one has studied this at [such a] large scale, and especially with Twitter,” said study author Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro. “We’re the first to actually have access to this data.”
They found that people with higher incomes tend to have more followers and more often discuss politics and corporations, while tweets from lower income users include more links to other pages and more profanity.
The researchers also said people with lower incomes more often talk about religion, especially Christianity.
“We are all natural language processing researchers. Our specialization is analyzing written text. But we didn’t limit ourselves to text,” explained Preotiuc-Pietro. “We also looked at other social media features like number of friends, number of followers, that kind of basic stuff.”