Affective politics: Trump sparks ’embarrassment’ spikes on Twitter

In a joint publication with Michigan State University, Goethe-University Frankfurt and Lübeck University, published at Frontiers in Communication – Political Communication, we show that there has been a 45-percent increase in people tweeting about embarrassment since Donald Trump took office. An analysis of Twitter traffic between June 2015 and June 2017 revealed how platform’s users responded to Trump’s actions at high-profile events. We argue that two factors might have motivated the nationwide increase in embarrassment mentions on Twitter: First, compared to former representatives, Trump seems to violate norms and etiquettes on purpose. Second, Trump’s role as president means he represents all Americans – even those who don’t agree with his politics. So, his norm violations threaten U.S citizens’ social integrity and causes people to cringe and feel vicarious embarrassment for Trump and his actions.

Link to the article at Frontiers in Communication – Political Communication

Coverage of the topic by:
The Atlantic
Americans Are Getting Secondhand Embarrassment From Trump.

Newsweek: Americans have tweeted more about embarrassment since President Donald Trump took office, according to researchers who analyzed millions of Twitter posts.

The Guardian: Spike in tweets about ’embarrassment’ under Trump, study finds. 

Mother Jones Magazine: Researchers Just Found a Way to Map Trump’s 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Using Twitter


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