Elections2019,  Research

Female Political Handles: Followed by more, Post more, Re-tweet more, and Follow less

We manually annotated the 1,252 verified handles, for various characteristics of the handles, like party affiliation, state / city, and gender. Among the 1,252 handles, we found 865 (69.1%) to be men, 133 (10.6%) to be women, and the rest 254 (20.3%) handles to be associated with parties. This blog is dedicated to analysing men and women handles. Analysis was done with the data as of March 1, 2019.

We found female political handles to have more followers than males. On average, females had 368.5K (min: 422, max: 12.2M) followers, while male handles has 347.8K (min: 47, max: 46.2M) followers. With @narendramodi having the maximum followers (46.2M) in male and @SushmaSwaraj (12.2M) in female. Below is the table with top 5 handles, male and female, with their followers count. In men, the handle which has the least (47) amount of followers is @VPROfficial and the female handle @shardarathore1 has 422.

Male handles with
# of followers
Female handles with
# of followers
Narendramodi (46.2M)SushmaSwaraj (12.2M)
ArvindKejriwal (14.6M)Smritiirani (8.9M)
Arunjaitley (14.3M)VasundharaBJP (3.6M)
AmitShah (12.8M)MamataOfficial (3.2M)
Rajnathsingh (12.4M)Nsitharaman (2M)

When we look at handles that these political handles are following, we can see that females follow lesser number of people compared to males. On average, we find men have 444.87 followings (min: 0 & max: 57,290) while it was 394.90 (min: 0 & max: 2,540) for females. Among men account, @Dr_Uditraj has the maximum number of followings with 57.3K, while @rajeambrishrao has 0 following. Among women, @szarita has 2,540 following, and @SushmaSwaraj has 0 following. Below is the table with top 5 handles in male and female with their followings count.

Male handle
# of followings
Female handles
# of followings
Dr_Uditraj (57.3K)Szarita (2.5K)
OfficeOfRKSingh (16.3K)Kavita_krishnan (2.4K)
TajinderBagga (6.1K)Kjsehrawat (2.1K)
SuPriyoBabul (5.5K)Juhiesingh (1.8K)
KapilMishra_IND (4.8K)Pankhuripathak (1.7K)

When we look at the content generated by men and women, on average we find women generate more content than men. On average, women generated 9,834.32 tweets (min: 0 @priyankagandhi, max: 142.7K @khushsundar), while men generated 7,432.21 tweets (min: 7 @RanjitKangujam, max: 142.8K @amitmalviya). Below is the list of Top 5 accounts with highest number of tweets with the tweet count.

Male handle with
# of tweets
Female handle with
# of tweets
Amitmalviya (142.8K)Khushsundar (142.7K)
Rachitseth (125.4K)LambaAlka (88.1K)
AnkitLal (112.8K)MrsGandhi (83K)
JAslamBasha (87.4K)PreetiSMenon (54K)
SuryahSG (86.1K)Kavita_krishnan (46.7K)

On further analysing the activity of these verified handles, we also find that on a daily average, Female handles tend to post more than the Male handles. On average, the average tweets posted per day by a male account is 3.50 (min: 0.06, max: 43.56) and for a female account is 4.30 (min: 0.03, max: 45.67). This was found out by averaging out all the tweets posted by each handle over the time they were active (Last tweet posted – Date of creation) on the social media platform. Below is the map depicting gender-wise, state-wise distribution of handles across the country.

Gender distribution of male (blue) and female (red) accounts across states.

We analyzed the words that the political handles have in their bio, e.g. SushmaSwaraj has “Minister of External affairs, Government of India” and Smritiirani has “Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles, Government of India. Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha representing the state of Gujarat.” Below are the tag clouds

Word cloud of bio description of male political handles.
Word cloud of bio description of female political handles.

Analyzing the creation date of the accounts, we found that at least one Male account was created in every single month starting 2010 until now, while there were many months when female accounts were not created. Below is the graph depicting the same. Per user analysis & Per tweet analysis.

plot from API (11)

To understand the way the information is propagating in the network, we analysed the re-tweet information for all the tweets.

We collected and analysed the Tweets, Retweets, Favorites (likes) of all 998 accounts of both male and female handles. We found female political handles tend to generate lesser original tweets (51.2%) compared to male handles (56.7%), while female handles retweet more (48.7%) compared to male handles (43.3%). To understand the engagement for each of the tweets posted by male and female handles, we analysed the average retweet count and favourite count per tweet, i.e. the number of times a tweet is getting retweeted or favourited / liked. We found tweets posted by females on average are getting retweeted more (549.7 times) compared to males (530 times), while female tweets are favourited less (151.6 times) compared to males (173.5 times).*

To understand the following & follower analysis of the handles, we drew the network graph of the interactions. Here is the graph of only males and females together. You can find the follower / following graph of males here and females here.

Follower / Following network between verified male (blue) and female (red) accounts.

For any questions / analysis, please drop an email at pk[at]iiitd[dot]ac[dot]in, we will be happy to answer it for you.

*Due to rate limits, we cannot collect all tweets by all users, twitter allows us to collect last 3200 tweets of user handles. We collected tweets for all the 998 handles (both males and females). Total number of accounts which had more than 3200 tweets were 457, of which 464 Males, 83 Females. In total we collected 2,447,233 tweets posted by males and females.

Comments Off on Female Political Handles: Followed by more, Post more, Re-tweet more, and Follow less

Associate Professor @ IIIT-Delhi http://precog.iiitd.edu.in