Twitter is a great way to track what’s on people’s minds, and by looking at tweets that mention cable news shows we can see what’s on people’s minds with regards to current events. And so it’s no surprise that Chris Christie’s “bridgegate” has been dominating the Twitter discussion on Thursday and Friday.
But there was something surprising in the numbers. MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which normally has a mostly male set of commentators on Twitter, had an unusually high number of mentions in the 8am hour and most of those Twitter mentions were from women. So that caused me to wonder: Are women more bothered and more motivated to tweet about Bridgegate than men?
Looking back at the recent history (since the first of the year) of tweets that mention cable news shows, I see that about 41% of the tweets are from women. But when I just look at tweets than mention Christie or #Bridgegate, the proportion of tweets from women grows to 47%. The boost from 41% to 47% isn’t a big change, but has noticeable effects, as in how it shifted the audience of Twitter mentioners from male to female for one hour of Morning Joe.
Clearly, women are more motivated by the scandal than other topics on average, and any analysis of the impact of Bridgegate that is dominated by men or a male point of view is going to understate its impact.