Facebook: Your pop culture preferences are related to your politics
According to Facebook data provided to CTV News, your pop culture and artistic preferences can vary widely depending on your politics (CTV News / Facebook).
Published Tuesday, July 14, 2015 11:44AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 14, 2015 3:20PM EDT
Is there a correlation between your politics and your pop culture preferences? What about the books you read or the athletes you worship? According to Facebook data provided to CTV News, these tastes can vary widely depending on what side of the political spectrum you're on – and whether you live in Quebec.
The latest Facebook data compares and contrasts the films, TV shows, actors, books, music and athletes "liked" by the many people in Canada who have also "liked" political parties on Facebook.
Now let's look a little more in depth at each party. Instead of just looking at the raw number of "likes," Facebook examined how "likes" were distributed between followers of the parties, highlighting certain interests that seem to be shared among the groups
Here's how Facebook came up with its findings:
- Start with the pool of Canadians who "like" a Canadian political party or political leader and exclude everyone else
- Within that pool, examine pop-culture preferences
- Looking at those preferences, do users with the same party affiliation tend to "like" a movie, actor, book, etc. more than the groups with different party affiliations?
For example, in the pool of Canadian Facebook users who "like" the Green Party, do a higher proportion of them "like" Tom Cruise than the other party groups? If so, Tom Cruise will show up in the list of the Green Party's pop-culture preferences. Turns out George Takei is more their cup of tea, but you get the idea.
"Facebook is a place where real political conversation happens daily and where Canadians come to discuss issues of importance to them," said Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy for Facebook Canada. "With more than 20 million Canadians using Facebook, we thought it would be fun to see how the likes and interests of political party supporters on Facebook mirror wider society."
In no particular order, the lists below show the top five pieces of pop culture each political follower is more likely to like.
Click an icon to jump to a specific category, or scroll down
Overall, politically-interested Facebookers seem to have similar tastes to the rest of the world. The top two books in terms of total "likes" are J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, which each have millions of followers on their respective Facebook pages. Rounding out that list is The Old Farmer's Almanac, I Am a Child of God and the King James Bible.
But digging a little deeper into the differences, we see that not all likes are dispersed evenly among party supporters. For example, a popular book about how safe marijuana is compared to alcohol found its way into the top-five for three different parties, and – maybe not surprisingly – a series of French-language travel guides seems to be disproportionately popular in Quebec.
Again, when looking at raw numbers, political party supporters seem to be in tune with the rest of the nation. The Big Bang Theory is first on the overall list, with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Simpsons, Family Guy and the Rick Mercer Report filling out the top five.
And when looking at which shows are over-represented by the specific parties, it seems the fan base of the Liberals, Green Party and NDP also seem to have more in common with each other than they do with Conservative supporters.
Just like in the book category, NDP supporters seem to be pretty big fantasy nerds – and so is everyone according to the most-liked movies for the whole group.
Though the novels didn't crack the top book lists, the Harry Potter movies are number one on Facebook among political party supporters. Following behind the wizarding world are Star Wars, Avatar, The Lord of the Rings and Shrek.
If you and your neighbour disagree on politics, there's actually a good chance you'll be able to bond over Vin Diesel, Ricky Gervais or Jason Statham. As it turns out, there's a ton of overlap between the parties when it comes to the actors people idolize.
This time the Conservatives seem to be the ones liking the most popular actors – three of their top five coincide with the overall most-liked list of George Takei, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Vin Diesel and Megan Fox.
But it's Green Party and NDP supporters who will probably find themselves sitting in the same theatre, with the two fan bases sharing four out of five favourite thespians.
And if you're confused about the popularity of George Takei, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek series, take a peek at his page. The 78-year-old has developed a social media following of his own completely outside of the sci-fi work he did in the '60s.
The overall top musicians are a trip back to the '60s and '70s, as political enthusiasts seem to prefer The Beatles, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd and Johnny Cash – with a little Eminem on the side, apparently.
Supporters from each individual party seem to have an affinity for at least one of those acts, with the exception of Conservative supporters, who are lopsided in terms of their support for country artists.
The biggest surprise of these lists is that the most-liked athlete isn't a hockey player -- it's Canadian mixed martial arts fighter Georges St-Pierre. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is second on the list, followed by soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, and Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard.
When it comes to which athletes are disproportionately represented by party supporters, each political group seems to have a soft spot for a different sport.
Facebook Canada sums it up: "Our data reveals the diverse interests and passions of political supporters in entertainment and culture -- Conservatives enjoy country music, Liberals love the movie Dirty Dancing, and New Democrats are partial to fantasy titles," said Kevin Chan.
But how does the average Canadian Facebook user compare to those who like a political party or party leader, measured by total number of "likes"? See the chart below: