Dramatic Shift: New Data Reveals Negative Political Tone Soared With Trump’s 2016 Campaign, US

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A new study conducted by researchers at EPFL has revealed that the tone of US political discourse became significantly more negative with the start of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The researchers used a new tool called Quotebank to analyze the language used by US politicians as reported in online news media between 2008 and 2020.

The data-driven evidence from Quotebank confirms the subjective impression held by most Americans that the tone of political debate has become more negative in recent years. The study found that during Barack Obama’s presidency, the frequency of negative emotion words decreased, but it suddenly spiked with the start of the 2016 primary campaigns, coinciding with Trump’s entry into the political arena. Removing Trump’s quotes from the data resulted in a 40% drop in the increase of negative emotion words in June 2015 when Trump launched his campaign. This indicates that Trump was the main driver of the shift towards a more negative tone in US politics.

The results have important implications for the future of US politics and society as a whole. They highlight the growing toxicity in political discourse and the danger of a positive feedback loop of negativity. Breaking out of this cycle is a major challenge facing the United States today.

Quotebank, the tool developed by EPFL, contains a vast database of nearly a quarter-billion unique quotes extracted from online news articles published over a span of 12 years. Using machine learning algorithms, Quotebank attributes the quotes to the speakers who likely uttered them. This new tool provides researchers with a comprehensive and longitudinal record of what politicians say, allowing for in-depth analysis of the tone of their language.

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Akhil Arora, a PhD student involved in the development of Quotebank, believes that the tool is highly useful for accountability and fact-checking. It allows anyone to explore the data and uncover the facts about what politicians have said, ensuring transparency and honesty in democracy. Arora also highlights the potential for partnerships with news organizations to integrate Quotebank into their databases, providing an ongoing barometer of the state of democracy and information structures.

The research conducted with Quotebank is the first to be published using the tool, and there are other projects in the pipeline. Its accessibility and potential for impact make it a valuable resource for analyzing and understanding political discourse in the United States.

Overall, this study provides objective evidence of the increase in negative political language during Trump’s 2016 campaign and emphasizes the need to address the growing toxicity in US politics. By using Quotebank, researchers have shed light on the true state of political discourse, fueling important societal discussions about trust in political institutions and the future of US politics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the purpose of the study conducted by researchers at EPFL?

The purpose of the study was to analyze the tone of US political discourse and determine whether it became more negative with the start of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

How did the researchers analyze the language used by US politicians?

The researchers used a tool called Quotebank, developed by EPFL, to analyze the language used by US politicians as reported in online news media between 2008 and 2020.

What did the study find regarding the tone of political debate in recent years?

The study found that the tone of political debate became significantly more negative with the start of Trump's 2016 campaign, confirming the subjective impression held by most Americans.

What impact did removing Trump's quotes from the data have on the increase of negative emotion words?

Removing Trump's quotes from the data resulted in a 40% drop in the increase of negative emotion words in June 2015, indicating that Trump was the main driver of the shift towards a more negative tone in US politics.

What are the implications of the study's results for US politics and society?

The study's results highlight the growing toxicity in political discourse and the danger of a positive feedback loop of negativity. Breaking out of this cycle is a major challenge facing the United States today.

What is Quotebank and how does it work?

Quotebank is a tool developed by EPFL that contains a vast database of nearly a quarter-billion unique quotes extracted from online news articles published over a span of 12 years. It uses machine learning algorithms to attribute quotes to likely speakers, allowing for in-depth analysis of the tone of their language.

What other potential uses does Quotebank have?

Quotebank has potential uses in accountability and fact-checking. It allows anyone to explore the data and uncover the facts about what politicians have said, ensuring transparency and honesty in democracy. It also has the potential for partnerships with news organizations to integrate Quotebank into their databases, providing an ongoing barometer of the state of democracy and information structures.

What makes Quotebank a valuable resource for analyzing and understanding political discourse in the United States?

Quotebank's accessibility and potential for impact make it a valuable resource for analyzing and understanding political discourse in the United States. Its comprehensive and longitudinal record of what politicians say allows for in-depth analysis of the tone of their language, shedding light on the true state of political discourse and fueling important societal discussions.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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