The Fix: Twitter

42 first tweets: How politicians said “hello” on Twitter

42 first tweets: How politicians said “hello” on Twitter

Today is Twitter's 8th birthday. To celebrate, they released a new feature that let's you discover the first tweet of anyone using the social network. This is a very embarrassing service to offer. Recycled first tweets are like first pancakes you put in the freezer and forgot about, and then five years later someone found it and put it on Instagram without even using a filter. Or a picture of you in your very awkward youth making its way onto the Internet.

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‘The Daily Show’ on the RNC’s ‘ending racism’ tweet (VIDEO)

"It's official. Stick a fork in racism -- it's done."

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling

Data modeling whiz Nate Silver and automated pollster Public Policy Polling lit up the Twitter-sphere this afternoon -- or at least the polling/political nerd section of it.

At issue was the prolific Democratic pollster’s decision, disclosed Wednesday, not to publish the results of a poll on the Colorado state Senate recalls that the firm did not believe to be accurate. The poll showed state Sen. Angela Giron losing by 12 points in a strongly Democratic district. Which is the exact margin that she lost by on Tuesday.

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How Twitter makes the political echo chamber worse

How Twitter makes the political echo chamber worse

In the never-ending philosophical battle over whether social media is good or bad for democracy, the anti-Twitter cohort just scored a big point: According to a fascinating audit of Congressional Twitter accounts by New York Magazine’s Dan Amira, our politicians overwhelmingly follow only people and news sources that align with their views.

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How Twitter could predict elections: A rebuttal

How Twitter could predict elections: A rebuttal

On Monday, The Post's op-ed page ran a piece on "How Twitter can help predict an election" suggesting campaigns no longer need pollsters. It lit up the polling world. (We also took a look at the study here on The Fix.) Rob Santos, the president of The American Association for Public Opinion Research and a senior statistician at the Urban Institute weighs in below with a rebuttal.

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How Twitter could predict elections -- in one eye-catching study

How Twitter could predict elections -- in one eye-catching study

Want to figure out who is going to win a congressional race? Find out which candidate received the lion's share of tweets in the lead-up to Election Day.

That's the takeaway at the core of a newly-released study conducted by four researchers at Indiana University. The paper stands in stark contrast to other research assessing the usefulness of tweets in assessing public opinion, as well as a number of high-profile whiffs from the Twittersphere.

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The biggest difference between the 2008 and 2012? Twitter.

When we asked Dan Balz what the biggest change was between the 2008 and the 2012 presidential campaigns, we expected him to say something like super PACs. Or the ever-increasing power of The Fix.

But, no. According to Dan, whose must-read book "Collision 2012 comes out tomorrow, the biggest change in the campaigns over the last four years was, wait for it, Twitter.

He explains why in a conversation we had for "In Play".

Why the gun bill failed -- in one more chart

Why the gun bill failed -- in one more chart

Last week, we looked at a chart showing how the number of gun businesses in a senator's state affected their vote on gun control. Today, we look at another chart that tells the story of the gun debate.

The Pew Research Center is out with a new report that shows -- via social media statistics -- a good approximation of why the gun control push failed.

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'The Colbert Report' on the hacking of AP's Twitter account (VIDEO)

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert takes a close look at the temporary dive the market took in response to an untrue tweet earlier this week:

David Letterman imagines 10 more AP tweets (VIDEO)

The Associated Press's Twitter account was hacked on Tuesday, prompting the wire service to clarify that a tweet about explosions at the White House was untrue. CBS's David Letterman devoted his Tuesday "Top 10 list to imagining 10 other false AP tweets.

What Twitter gets wrong

What Twitter gets wrong

After the election, 52 percent of voters said they took joy in Barack Obama's victory, but in the world of Twitter, his victory was a crowning glory for many more people.

Over three quarters (77 percent) of Twitter comments following Obama's re-election were positive, while just 23 percent were negative. The disconnect occurred all too often in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center study released Monday, with Twitter flunking as an early indicator of how Americans more broadly are reacting to political events.

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The political year on Twitter, by the numbers

The political year on Twitter, by the numbers

On Tuesday, Twitter released lists of the top trending topics and tweets of 2012. The social networking Web site was a huge part of the 2012 election conversation, with politicians, the reporters who cover them, and voters increasingly relying on the medium for communication.

Below, we take a by-the-numbers look at the 2012 intersection of politics and Twitter, based off the data released on Tuesday:

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Introducing the Twitter Political Index!

Twitter today unveiled its “Political Index”, an attempt to compare sentiment about President Obama and Mitt Romney to the overall mood of the massive micro-blogging universe.

The Twitter Political Index — or “Twindex” for short — is born of a longstanding desire within the company to take a 50,000-foot view of its huge stores of data in hopes of gleaning conclusions about the public sentiment toward the presidential campaign, according to Adam Sharp, the head of government, news & social innovation at Twitter.

“There has been a dramatic expansion of the sample size for doing research on this data,” Sharp said in an interview with the Fix. “We now have enough data to start forming real-time data for the election.”

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CNN, Fox jump the gun on Supreme Court health care decision

Updated at 12:02 p.m.

For the second time this week, initial reports about the Supreme Court’s decision were flat wrong.

The complicated nature of the court’s decisions, along with the Twitter age and the race to be first, led at least two major news networks — CNN and Fox News — to mistakenly report Thursday morning that the individual mandate portion of President Obama’s health care law had been struck down.

The problem: The law and the mandate were actually upheld.

Here’s CNN, before and after:

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