AAAI Publications, Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Understanding the Demographics of Twitter Users
Alan Mislove, Sune Lehmann, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Jukka-Pekka Onnela, J. Niels Rosenquist

Last modified: 2011-07-05

Abstract


Every second, the thoughts and feelings of millions of people across the world are recorded in the form of 140-character tweets using Twitter. However, despite the enormous potential presented by this remarkable data source, we still do not have an understanding of the Twitter population itself: Who are the Twitter users? How representative of the overall population are they? In this paper, we take the first steps towards answering these questions by analyzing data on a set of Twitter users representing over 1% of the U.S. population. We develop techniques that allow us to compare the Twitter population to the U.S. population along three axes (geography, gender, and race/ethnicity), and find that the Twitter population is a highly non-uniform sample of the population.

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