The Digital Divide

Our Research and Insights team analyzed recent tweets to take the public temperature on the upcoming Dobbs ruling. Here’s what they found:

  • Twitter conversation peaked with the Supreme Court draft leak, but recent engagement has been limited as other issues compete for attention.
  • Conversation has been most active among right-leaning users over the past week as people share accounts of violent protests.
  • As expected, the conversation is divisive. Narratives driven by the right focus on reports of violent protesters:
    • Safety of Supreme Court Justices: Users on the right share their concerns about the justices’ safety – especially Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. People share stories of disruptive protests outside their homes, threats of violence against Kavanaugh and protesters showing up to Barrett’s church. 
    • Attacks on pro-life centers: Conservative users critcize the left based on reports of attacks on pro-life women’s health centers. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene consistently shares information about these centers and expresses frustration they aren’t given the same protection as abortion centers.
  • Narratives driven by the left are more advocacy-oriented, with users calling for the protection of reproductive rights and other freedoms the Court could overturn next:
    • Dismantling Rights: Users on the left, including Vice President Kamala Harris, continue to share their concerns that overturning Roe v. Wade could lead to other freedoms being overturned – especially same-sex marriage and interracial marriage.
    • Executive Order: News outlets and users share reports President Biden could issue an executive order to protect access to an abortion if the Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
    • Local Laws: Liberal voters urge state governments to enact laws quickly to protect people’s right to an abortion in their state. Some local lawmakers share promises to continue fighting for abortion access at the local level even if the Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
    • Gun Laws: Users on the left are highly critical of Republicans who talk about the value of life and tout pro-life values but refuse to enact any gun laws to prevent future school shootings.