New Clovr Crypto Study Reveals Mainstream Media has an Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Sentiment Analysis


Bitcoin has always been under attack from powerful established forces. The problems associated with scale, primarily transaction fees, confirmation times, price valuation and so on, have served the perfect opportunity for other coins to lay their respective claims as to why they solve above-outlined drawbacks.

Mainstream media is the medium through which the established institution attack cryptos. To prove this, Clovr, did a study on this topic. Their analysis tracks the correlation between coverage on currency values over time and the sentiments different outlets display in their crypto reporting.

As time has passed, the coverage on mainstream media about cryptos has certainly increased but not in a positive way. In fact, our data suggest coverage of bitcoin’s infancy was mostly glowing and that subsequent articles have shifted toward neutrality overall. As recently as 2016, positive articles far exceeded negative ones, both in terms of volume and intensity. As coverage surged in mid-2017, however, articles expressing negative sentiment grew more common. This trend was fueled in part to grim prognostications by the likes of Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban, who guessed that “a bubble” was underway.

The study notes: “In the wake of bitcoin’s market cap plunge in the final days of 2017, negative articles multiplied — with cryptocurrencies falling 34 percent in the first month of 2018, cautionary tales of vanished wealth were common.”

On the major news sites that covered cryptocurrency most often, coverage was highly variable. Business and finance outlets that cater to a younger audience, such as Forbes and Business Insider, had coverage that was consistently above the overall median for positive sentiment: a combined 1,335 articles from these two outlets alone were more positive than the overall median sentiment of the sampled articles, while only 413 of their articles fell on the negative side. Some outlets that covered bitcoin often displayed a slightly more even mix of sentiments: CNBC published nearly 1,000 articles on cryptocurrency during the time period surveyed, with 52.9% being positive and 47% being negative.

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The mainstream coverage shows that the sentiment around Bitcoin has anything but static. The tone and volume of reports have differed substantially, both over time and among various outlets. Whereas many publications have produced increasingly skeptical articles in recent months, others have actually become more bullish as the years go by. Notably, Forbes and CNET were examples of a shifting positive pattern.

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