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Oct 02 2012

Who follows the Discovery Institute?

Yeah, right, the Discovery Institute appeals to science-minded people. Here’s an interesting analysis of the 2500 people who bother to follow the Discovery Institute’s twitter feed: the top 25 or so followers are all apologists for Christianity, with only two exceptions, who are primarily classified as political. Those two? Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter.

I checked. Neither Malkin nor Coulter follow me. What a relief!

Also, I tried to look at my twitter followers and see if there were any consistent patterns. Not that I could see, but there were 118,000 of them — I took one look at that roiling mob and ran away.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    A. R

    If Malkin or Coulter followed me, I’d delete me account. (Not that I have one, or matter enough to be followed by either of them.)

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    It seems not to worry the CSC (fortunately, it was the CSC, not the DI in general, whose followers were analyzed).

    You don’t suppose that their primary purpose isn’t to follow the evidence wherever it leads, do you?

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    Menyambal

    Yeah, I was trying to wade through one of Ann Coulter’s books, once, and realized she’d pinned most of her arguments on the fact that liberals believed in evolution, therefore they were wrong about everything else. She was shovelling the standard creationist crap, but I didn’t realize she’s got it straight from the Disco ‘Tute. It figures, though.

  4. 4
    harbo

    The Venn diagram would look like a “penny farthing” bicycle.

  5. 5
    dianne

    118.000 followers? You should be able to do some good data mining with those numbers.

  6. 6
    Matt G

    Yikes! That was scary, and it isn’t even Halloween yet. I did see one who identified as an atheist, but most are knee-deep in Jesus. It kinda speaks volumes about how seriously scientifically minded people take their nonsense. I wonder how many are named Steve….

  7. 7
    sqlrob

    @AR:

    You could always block them

  8. 8
    kantalope

    now now just because malkin is a japanese internment camp apologist does not make her a bad person…i’m sure there are lots of other contributing reasons.

  9. 9
    geoffshorts

    Thanks for sharing PZ!

    If you’d like any other account analyzed I’m at your service. (Though running stats on your 118k+ horde of followers would take about a week!)

  10. 10
    Holms

    I could have told you that only idiots follow the discovery institute!

  11. 11
    Hatchetfish

    now now just because malkin is a japanese internment camp apologist does not make her a bad person…i’m sure there are lots of other contributing reasons.

    No, I’d say it’s a sufficient criterion. As you note it’s not by any means unique, but it’s definitely sufficient to classify her as such on its own, regardless of the myriad other qualifying traits.

  12. 12
    julietdefarge

    Really interesting! I’m eager to see this post he plans: “My next post will be on fake Twitter accounts dressed to look up as Christian – and who’s buying them.”

  13. 13
    RFW

    If you are very very good, P-zed, your horde of followers will refrain from having a mass love-in with you as the focus.

    The real importance of Pharyngula having fifty times the followers as the Discovery Institute is that it proves that the DI is, as Shakespeare put it, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Just like so many other nutbar entities: Eugene Delgaudio’s “Public Advocate of the United States”, the “One Million Moms” (widely believed to be one old fat white guy), and all the rest.

  14. 14
    mojo

    @holms: I follow them, and I’m far from an IDiot. I mostly get a perverse pleasure out of watching Casey Luskin and the rest completely misrepresent science and following them makes that easier.

    Yes, it’s a sickness. I admit that freely :)

  15. 15
    geoffshorts

    Hi Juliet,

    I’ve finished my post on Christian fake Twitter accounts. It’s here.

    Best,
    Geoff

  16. 16
    myeck waters

    The Twitter account data you’ve been compiling is both bizarre and really interesting, geoff.

  17. 17
    geoffshorts

    Thanks Myeck!

    I’ll probably send the details off to Twitter (somehow) by the end of the week. If anyone wants anything checked beforehand do let me know.

    This is a little cheeky of me, but would you mind maybe sharing a link to the post somewhere? I only got 112 hits on it – no big deal, my ego will survive – but I’m worried someone might have a rather smart idea about how I could find more of ‘em that I won’t hear about.

    Best,
    Geoff

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