Pronoun Lists in Profile Bios Display Increased Prevalence, Systematic Co-Presence with Other Keywords and Network Tie Clustering among US Twitter Users 2015-2022
Keywords:Twitter, pronoun list, preferred pronouns, identity
Over the past few years, pronoun lists have become more prevalent in online spaces. Currently, various LGBT+ activists, universities, and corporations encourage people to share their preferred pronouns. Little research exists examining the characteristics of individuals who do publicly share their preferred pronouns. Using Twitter bios from the US between early 2015 and June 30, 2022, we explored users’ expression of preferred pronouns. First, we noted the prevalence of users with pronoun lists within their bio has increased substantially. Second, we observed that certain linguistic tokens systematically co-occurred with pronoun lists. Specifically, tokens associated with left-wing politics, gender or sexual identity, and social media argot co-occurred disproportionately often alongside pronoun lists, while tokens associated with right-wing politics, religion, sports, and finance co-occurred infrequently. Additionally, we discovered clustering among Twitter users with pronouns in their bios. Specifically, we found an above-average proportion of the followers and friends of Twitter users with pronouns in their bio also had pronouns in their bios. Twitter users who did not share their preferred pronouns, on the other hand, were disproportionately unlikely to be connected with Twitter users who did.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Liam Tucker, Jason J. Jones
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