Twitter Friday: Do We Really Need Racial Profiling? |

Twitter Friday: Do We Really Need Racial Profiling?

By Tad Chef / May 1, 2010

Typical Twitter user: Well educated, high income, uses it for marketing and business purposes. Source.

Welcome back to the weekly Twitter column. This time I’ll tell you something about statistics. I love statistics. Statistics make business sense. So I’m eagerly studying all kinds of statistics, especially those dealing with social media and Twitter in particular.

This time a statistic mentioned in a respectable business publication made me cringe though. It says that 25% of [American] Twitter users are black while only 12% of the US population is black. So basically this statistic is saying:

Help!!! Twitter is full of black people!

Why the heck do you need racial profiling when it comes to Twitter? Is this Arizona or what? Is this useful is some way? Do I need such a statistic as a business person? To sell them different products? Do black people buy different products and services? Maybe they do. I guess the difference is bigger though when you compare the middle class to low income families. You could also compare rural and urban areas. You could even compare the south with the north. Or the West Coast with the East Coast.

In contrast racial profiling does not make sense. Even if African Americans are more often blue collar workers or live in the inner cities than the suburbs. You don’t need to profile them based on race. You can profile them based on income, household size or where they live.

The Business Insider even asks “Why Is Twitter More Popular With Black People Than White People?” As if something was wrong with it. On the Web there is no color. Heck, “on the Internet nobody knows that you’re a dog“! Does this statistic suggest that there is some kind of American type “white flight” from Twitter? Not yet. Racial profiling can lead to such a phenomenon.

Btw. Mr. Nick Saint, did you know? 100% of current US presidents are black while of 12% of Americans are. Also this black president has used Twitter in an inspiring way to connect with voters and fellow Americans. So he showed that Twitter may be empowering even for minorities.

What comes next? A statistic about how many Muslims or gay people use Twitter?

Racial profiling has nothing to do with business. Also the statistic you cite wasn’t mainly about race. It offers much more interesting insights. Such as:

  • “Marketing and Business use cases for Twitter far exceed similar usage for social networking Web sites in general.”
  • “Twitter Users are Well-Educated”
  • “Twitter Users Are More Likely to Live in Higher Income Households”

So why focus on race? You tell me Mr. Nick Saint. In case you don’t I tell you: It’s none of your ****** business. The only color that matters on the US market is green as in greenback.

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