Fake News and Indifference to Truth: Dissecting Tweets and State of the Union Addresses by Presidents Obama and Trump

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2018-020/III

24 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by David E. Allen

David E. Allen

School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Sydney; Financial Research Network (FIRN); Department of Finance; School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University

Michael McAleer

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics, Econometric Institute; Tinbergen Institute; University of Tokyo - Centre for International Research on the Japanese Economy (CIRJE), Faculty of Economics

David McHardy Reid

Seattle University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 1, 2018

Abstract

State of the Union Addresses (SOUA) by two recent US Presidents, President Obama (2016) and President Trump (2018), and a series of recent of tweets by President Trump, are analysed by means of the data mining technique, sentiment analysis. The intention is to explore the contents and sentiments of the messages contained, the degree to which they differ, and their potential implications for the national mood and state of the economy. President Trump's 2018 SOUA and his sample tweets are identified as being more positive in sentiment than President Obama's 2016 SOUA. This is confirmed by bootstrapped t tests and non-parametric sign tests on components of the respective sentiment scores. The issue of whether overly positive pronouncements amount to self-promotion, rather than intrinsic merit or sentiment, is a topic for future research.

Keywords: Sentiment Analysis, Polarity, Bootstrapped t tests, Sign tests

JEL Classification: A1, C88, C44, Z0

Suggested Citation

Allen, David Edmund and McAleer, Michael and Reid, David McHardy, Fake News and Indifference to Truth: Dissecting Tweets and State of the Union Addresses by Presidents Obama and Trump (March 1, 2018). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2018-020/III. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3135767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3135767

David Edmund Allen (Contact Author)

School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Sydney ( email )

School of Mathematics and Statistics F07
University of Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

Department of Finance ( email )

Taiwan
Taiwan

School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University

100 Joondalup Drive
Joondalup, WA 6027
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.dallenwapty.com

Michael McAleer

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics, Econometric Institute ( email )

Rotterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute

Rotterdam
Netherlands

University of Tokyo - Centre for International Research on the Japanese Economy (CIRJE), Faculty of Economics

Tokyo
Japan

David McHardy Reid

Seattle University ( email )

900 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122
United States

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