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Fake News And Indifference To Truth: Dissecting Tweets And State Of The Union Addresses By Presidents Obama And Trump


  • David E. Allen

    (School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney, Australia)

  • Michael McAleer

    (Department of Finance, Asia University, Taiwan)

  • David McHardy Reid

    (Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, Washington, USA)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Allen & Michael McAleer & David McHardy Reid, 2018. "Fake News And Indifference To Truth: Dissecting Tweets And State Of The Union Addresses By Presidents Obama And Trump," Advances in Decision Sciences, Asia University, Taiwan, vol. 22(1), pages 180-203, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aag:wpaper:v:22:y:2018:i:1:p:180-203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David E. Allen & Michael McAleer & Abhay K. Singh, 2014. "Machine news and volatility: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the TRNA sentiment series," Working Papers in Economics 14/04, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    2. David E. Allen & Michael McAleer, 2018. "Fake news and indifference to scientific fact: President Trump’s confused tweets on global warming, climate change and weather," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(1), pages 625-629, October.
    3. Paul C. Tetlock & Maytal Saar‐Tsechansky & Sofus Macskassy, 2008. "More Than Words: Quantifying Language to Measure Firms' Fundamentals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1437-1467, June.
    4. David E Allen & Michael McAleer & Abhay K Singh, 2017. "An entropy-based analysis of the relationship between the DOW JONES Index and the TRNA Sentiment series," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(7), pages 677-692, February.
    5. Leela Mitra & Gautam Mitra & Dan Dibartolomeo, 2009. "Equity portfolio risk estimation using market information and sentiment," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(8), pages 887-895.
    6. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2008. "All That Glitters: The Effect of Attention and News on the Buying Behavior of Individual and Institutional Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 785-818, April.
    7. Paul C. Tetlock, 2007. "Giving Content to Investor Sentiment: The Role of Media in the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1139-1168, June.
    8. Zhi Da & Joseph Engelberg & Pengjie Gao, 2011. "In Search of Attention," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1461-1499, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. David E. Allen & Michael McAleer, 2019. "Fake News and Propaganda: Trump’s Democratic America and Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-19, September.
    2. David E. Allen & Michael McAleer, 2018. "President Trump Tweets Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un on Nuclear Weapons: A Comparison with Climate Change †," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-6, July.

    More about this item


    Sentiment Analysis; Polarity; Bootstrapped t tests; Sign tests;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • C88 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other Computer Software
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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