Left-leaning political magazine Prospect magazine has, through research conducted by YouGov, come up with a scale that ranks the most liberal Britons through to the most authoritarian, and it shows that Twitter users are among the most likely to appear on the extreme left of the scale.
Compared with the average Briton, those using Twitter tend to have a strongly liberal and civil libertarian bias, the YouGov research found. It showed that Twitter users were the third most liberal group — just behind Liberal Democrat voters, but ahead of Labour supporters and the traditional liberal age group of 16- to 34-year-olds.
This ties in with recent outcries among Twitter users, such as over Jan Moir's piece in the Daily Mail on the death of Stephen Gately, which lead to more than 20,000 complaints being made to the Press Complaints Commission.
This sparked a further wave of liberal soulsearching on the miniblogging website as Twitterers feared that they had turned into nothing better than a virtual mob baying for blood.
The poll surveyed more than 2,000 people. It found that of those respondents who used Twitter, 46% were under the age of 35, compared with 29% of the population as a whole, and that they were more likely to live in London. It also found that 76% of British people said that they have never used and do not intend to use Twitter in the future.
James Crabtree, managing editor of Prospect, said: "New technologies are often adopted by the political extremes of left and right. It is clear that the urban, metropolitan, Guardian-reading 'chattering classes' have flocked online to become the 'twittering classes' — and they are now a real force in British politics."