Tribalism in the European Parliament extends to Twitter
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Members of the European Parliament inhabit a Twitter bubble that is skewed toward their own political tribe, according to POLITICOs analysis of the connections of the new crop of MEPs.
The analysis suggests that — like many members of the social network — EU legislators occupy a Twitter echo chamber that resonates with views similar to their own.
The analysis looks at whom MEPs follow and maps the political spread of those connections for the group leaders in Parliament. All of them have more followers from MEPs in their own party than other parties in the Parliament (a pattern thats mirrored that among members of the U.K. parliament in Westminster).
Manfred Weber, who heads the conservative European Peoples Party, for example, is followed by 105 of his own MEPs but only 17 from the Socialists and Democrats. Conversely, Iratxe García, who heads the S&D, has 55 follows from her own tribe, but only seven from the EPP.
Manfred Weber — European Peoples Party
Weber heads the conservative EPP in the European Parliament and was the partys Spitzenkandidat, or lead candidate, in the European election.
Iratxe García — Socialists and Democrats
García recently took over the center-left S&D.
Dacian Cioloş — Renew Europe
Cioloș heads up the new liberal-centrist group in the Parliament, Renew Europe.
Ska Keller — Greens
Keller is co-leader of the Greens.
Philippe Lamberts — Greens
Lamberts is the other co-leader of the Greens.
Jan Zahradil — European Conservatives and Reformists
Zahradil was Spitzenkandidat for the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe in the European election and of the group, has the most MEP followers on Twitter. Of the partys co-chairs, Ryszard Legutkos Twitter account appears to be inactive. Raffaele Fittos account has 19 MEP followers, of whom eight are from the EPP and two are ECR.
Marco Zanni — Identity and Democracy
Zanni is leader of the far-right and Euroskeptic ID group.
Gabriele Zimmer — European United Left-Nordic Green Left
Zimmer heads the GUE/NGL group in the Parliament.
Nigel Farage — Brexit Party
The Brexit Party leader heads the largest national party in the Parliament, but it has not yet formed or joined a party grouping.
Guy Verhofstadt — Renew Europe
Verhofstadt, as the MEP with the most followers among fellow legislators, is the exception that proves the rule. His followers are spread more widely among rival party groupings.
News you can use
Rather than just present our analysis, we have embedded a search tool below that will let you input any Twitter handle. It displays the party breakdown of MEPs that follow that account. Dont worry, no one will know if you search for yourself — unless you post the result on Twitter with hashtag #MEPtwitterbubble.
This is optimized for display on desktop.
The methodology bit — how we did it
To build the dataset, we downloaded data on the followers of every MEP we could find who isRead More – Source