Posted on June 28, 2012

Why Blacks Tweet More than Whites

Kristin Tilltoson, Star Tribune, June 26, 2012

The latest Pew Research report on Twitter use found that 28 percent of African-American adult Internet users tweet, compared with only 9 percent of whites. What’s up with that?

In contrast to Facebook, which was overwhelmingly white early on, Twitter has been dominated by black users since it was launched. As funny guy Baratunde Thurston, author of “How to Be Black,” pointed out two years ago when he was political editor at the Onion, Twitter’s top trending topics are often dominated by black culture, with hashtags like #YouAintHittinItRight, #blackis and #blackaint.

“Certain hours of the day, you will find Twitter is quite black,” he said.

Part of the reason is what sociologist Walt Jacobs calls “the digital divide” that saw blacks preferring mobile devices over laptops or PCs. {snip} Another theory trotted out by earlier research is that blacks are more interested in celebrity and entertainment news, which are big drivers of Twitter traffic (critics found that conclusion racist).