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Canadians are friendlier on Twitter than Americans

Canadians are friendlier than Americans. You hear this stereotype again and again all over the USA. But at least on Twitter, there seems to be something true about it.

Anyone who has ever been to the USA and talked about their neighbours in the north will sooner or later have stumbled across the stereotype that the neighbours in the north are much friendlier than the Americans. Fair enough, many Canadians think the same about themselves. But is there any truth to it? At least on Twitter this stereotype seems to be true. A study made by the Canadian McMaster University examined 37 million tweets from 2015 and 2016 and came to the conclusion that Canadians are really nicer on Twitter than their southern neighbours. For example, Canadians have words like thank you, great or happy among the most commonly used terms, while Americans seem to love emojis and terms like b*tch, sh*t and hate are among the top terms. The study also shows that US-Americans use abbreviations like 'lol' more often in their tweets.

It is interesting to note that sociological research has shown that Canadians are no friendlier in everyday life than their southern neighbors. So it's all the more surprising that things seem to be different on Twitter.

To explain this behavior, the researchers hypothesize that many Twitter users are aware of their national stereotypes and behave accordingly, reinforcing the stereotype as in a virtual echo chamber. However, the researchers also stressed that this hypothesis has yet to be confirmed.

This graph shows which words and emojis are most frequently used in Canada (left) and the USA (right) (source:
This graph shows which words and emojis are most frequently used in Canada (left) and the USA (right) (source:


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Cornelius Wolff, 2018-11-28 (Update: 2018-11-28)