Lawmakers cut back on their use of Twitter last week after Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) sent a lewd image of himself through the social network.
It’s impossible to say whether the drop in tweeting by lawmakers is attributable to Weiner’s problems, and last week did include the Memorial Day holiday.
Still, there was a significant drop in the number of tweets by lawmakers, who tweeted about 28 percent less the week of May 30 to June 3 than the previous week, according to a study by TweetCongress.
The week of the 30th, there were 2,104 tweets from Republicans and 843 from Democrats, compared to the 2,868 from Republicans and 1,182 from Democrats the previous week.
Lawmakers tweeted 50 percent less on Monday, May 30, than the previous Monday, though May 30 was Memorial Day.
The day Weiner held his press conference when he admitted he lied about being hacked, there was a noticeable decline in tweets by Democratic lawmakers. On Monday, June 6, there were only 120 tweets from Democrats. That's about 30 percent less than the frequency of tweets two Mondays before. On the Republican side, 338 tweets were sent the Monday of Weiner's presser, about an 18 percent drop from two weeks before.
The study was done by Chris McCroskey, one of the co-founders of TweetCongress, and his team at IdeaLoop LLC, a software company he owns.
Twitter has become a common tool for politicians who want to speak directly to their constituencies and supporters. Sarah Palin, for example, often uses messages on Twitter and Facebook to get her message out without going through the traditional media.
-- This story was updated at 10:47 a.m.