Twitter Patter

As with most things in America in 2022, there’s a stark partisan divide when it comes to perceptions of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. 

Our Research and Insights team asked our insight community TrendSpotters—a group of 300 news-attentive voters—about how they felt about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter from November 3-7.

Here’s what they found:

  • Nearly all Democrats surveyed (96%) want companies to stop advertising on the platform if safety standards are lowered, but such a move by brands would be opposed by nearly three-quarters (74%) of Republicans.
    • Democrats warn brands that they could appear complicit in supporting hate speech if they continue to advertise on the platform.
    • Republicans champion free speech – and believe it’s up to the consumer to decide what they read. 
  • This reaction reflects strong partisan differences in reactions to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter – 60% of Republicans are pleased with news about the acquisition, but only 4% of Democrats are.
    • Other Republicans are indifferent (21%) to the news, while Democrats feel skeptical (30%), fearful (20%), or indifferent (20%) about this acquisition.
  • Democrats fear changes to the platform will worsen division and exacerbate “hate speech” – with concerns raised about Musk lifting bans or enabling imposter accounts through changes to the blue check.
  • But Republicans see the acquisition as a welcome corrective to the “silencing” of conservative voices on social media platforms, even if they don’t personally warm to Musk.

Reflecting their high level of media engagement and news-attentiveness, two-thirds of participants have a Twitter account – with a quarter checking it daily.

Our latest recommendations for how brands should approach Twitter are updated here.