Choosing X (Formerly Twitter) As A Potent Source For Research

Smartphone on desktop with social media icon. Photo by Mati Mango.

By Yousaf K

Gun debates and American politics are staple discussions on nearly all social media platforms, and X (formerly Twitter) is no exception.  The research I have conducted on arms control in United States seems on target as a hot-button issue for the average American citizen and X has become a popular town hall for the young, as well as middle-aged men and women who are anxious about government plans and their repercussions on the society.  Its audience reach exceeds 100 million users in country, surpassing India and Japan.  As in every other country, X plays a crucial role in U.S. domestic politics and narrative building. Stricter Gun Laws, like every other constitution amendments of public concern, are widely appreciated and shared to larger audience across the globe.

The percentage of young and middle-aged people in U.S. between 25 and 45 on X is the highest compared to other age groups, which makes a compelling sample size for important research.  Additionally, not only is this group popular on the platform, but it is also most active, with more than 36% active.  It is followed by the youth between 18 and 24 with 34% active usage.  

Across the U.S. and, indeed, across the world, the young and middle-aged population are keen on the connection between daily gun-related crimes and are enthusiastic in highlighting the societal menace through demonstrations, social media posts, and academia.  Arguably, X is the most effective social media platform and is readily available for their exploitation.  A post made against any law can be shared an unlimited number of times, which has shown to be a useful indicator for key policy makers.  As a result, policies and laws can easily be influenced by X posts.  For example, one can easily gain the attention of politicians through posting visuals and highlighting inefficiencies in gun control laws.

Unique traits of this platform

  • Real-time Updates And Ease Of Use

X is highly efficient at consolidating information and news in real time.  It helps users stay up-to-date on recent developments in any field of interest. Additionally, it is extremely simple and easy to use.  Unlike other platforms, like YouTube, where posting videos and relevant information takes multiple takes and post-production, X harnesses information easily in 160 characters.

  • Like-minded Communities-Of-Scale

Once you share your own interests on X, you will be connected to other users with interests similar to your own. Posts and threads can then be shared world-wide to people who share your perspective.

  • A Platform For Political Activism

X has been used to raise awareness about political and social issues.  This social media app can be an influential tool for groups and individuals looking to make the society a better place.  Through its hash tag power, any issue of public interest can be brought to the lime-light.

  • Crowd-sourcing

With X, people can share photos and information which can help law enforcement agencies to track and identify suspects and gather useful evidence.  This can be helpful to a multitude of law-enforcing agencies within the U.S. and worldwide, to include INTERPOL.

  • Increased Transparency and Truth-To-Power

Information shared on X can increase accountability and transparency from officials through the power of the public forum, ultimately building trust with the general public.  Moreover, the proliferation of crowd-sourced evidence can make it easier to recognize crime and hold criminals accountable through courts of law.

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