The language used by members of U.S. Congress between 2009 and 2019 reflects a 23% increase in profanity among legislators, especially Democrats, according to a study published this Thursday.
Tweets against former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) largely account for deteriorating manners in Congress, pointed out Robb Willer of Stanford University in California and one of the study’s co-authors.
The researchers used artificial intelligence to examine some 1.3 million Twitter messages sent by members of Congress to identify rude content, which they define as expressions that observers would typically classify as crude or offensive.
While profanity is found in public language across the political spectrum, the study found that disrespect between members of the Senate and House of Representatives was most notable among more “progressive” Democrats.
A team of researchers, also led by Jeremy Frimer of the University of Winnipeg, found that the most acrimonious Twitter messages are the ones that receive the most “likes” and are forwarded with the greatest enthusiasm.
Just because the most inflammatory tweets cause more buzz on the social network does not necessarily mean they got more approval, the authors of the article in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science detailed.