Lying, Liars, and Lies: Incivility in 2016 Presidential Candidate and Campaign Tweets During the Invisible Primary

Kate Kenski, Christine R. Filer, Bethany A. Conway-Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Incivility is a growing concern among Americans and a burgeoning topic of scholarly research. The current study investigates the extent to which incivility via lying accusations was present in major party candidate and campaign expressions on Twitter during the invisible primary season preceding the 2016 presidential election. All tweets on verified major party candidate and campaign Twitter feeds were collected from March 5, 2015 through December 31, 2015 (N = 66,463). The collection of candidate tweets included 6 Democrats and 18 Republicans. While lying accusations were infrequent, they occurred 109 times over the preprimary period. The Republican candidates were more likely to make lying accusations than were the Democratic candidates. This was driven in large part by the candidacy of Donald Trump.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-299
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Keywords

  • incivility
  • invisible primary
  • lying accusations
  • preprimary campaign
  • presidential campaign
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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