This Pew Research Center analysis provides data on Truth Social as Donald Trump runs for President in 2024. It is based on a October 2022 center study which examined Truth Social and six other alternative social media sites – BitChute, Gab, Gettr, Parler, Rumble and Telegram – using a multi-method approach. Websites were included in the study if they had publicly available posts, were featured in news media, and had at least 500,000 unique visitors as of December 2021.
The survey portion of the study was conducted May 16-22, 2022 among 10,188 US adults. Everyone who took part in the survey is a member of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel recruited through national random sampling of residential addresses. In this way, almost all US adults have a chance to choose. The survey is weighted to be representative of the US adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, political party affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the methodology of the ATP here. Respondents were asked about their familiarity with each of the seven social media sites surveyed. Those who said they had heard of these sites were also asked if they use the sites and receive messages there, what they think of them and more.
The range of sampling error for the full sample of 10,188 respondents is plus or minus 1.6 percentage points; the range of sampling error for the 587 alternative social media news consumers is plus or minus 7.0 percentage points; and the range of sampling error for consumers of 219 Truth Social News is plus or minus 11.9 percentage points.
The alternative social media site audit was originally conducted in April 2022. To conduct the analysis, a team of researchers was trained on a number of variables examining characteristics of each site, such as privacy and moderation policies. The researchers re-examined each page in August-September 2022 (Truth Social was also re-examined in November 2022) and updated the results with any changes.
The account content analysis examines a sample of 200 prominent accounts on each of the seven websites included in this analysis, for a total of 1,400 accounts examined. Celebrity accounts were selected from the 5% of accounts with the highest number of followers on each site. A team of trained researchers analyzed these 1,400 selected accounts to determine who runs the account, their political affiliations, values and other characteristics. For more details on how accounts were identified and scanned see the methodology.
Post content analysis examines the topics discussed and sources cited in 585,470 posts published by the 1,400 selected accounts in June 2022 (only 1,147 of those accounts posted at least once during that month). Researchers used a set of unique keywords to identify posts on five different topics – abortion; Guns, Gun Control and Shootings; the January 6 attack on the US Capitol; LGBTQ issues; and vaccines. Researchers examined unique two- and three-word phrases commonly used in posts on each topic. The researchers then examined the unique domains linked in those posts to identify the types of sources those accounts used.
The Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This is the latest report in Pew Research Center’s ongoing investigation of the State of News, Information, and Journalism in the Digital Age, a research program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.