RI House Social Media Rankings

See which Representatives put in the most effort to communicate and interact with Rhode Islanders online

Having reviewed every single member of the General Assembly's social media posts over a year period, we found several themes emerge.  Many members use social media merely as a bulletin board, keeping residents up to date on important announcements such as mosquito spraying, park closures, road construction, and key legislation. On the occasion that a post is controversial, members often do not respond to comments, even when the questions are friendly in nature. Just 5 out of 75 members of the House received and responded to comments from followers on Facebook, and even fewer did on Twitter. On topics that received comments and questions, this created the impression that the member was scared of engagement or did not fully believe in the topic of the post. One interesting item to note was that several of the more prolific Tweeters in the GA were highly engaged on other members' Twitter threads, but not their own.

Our top performers engaged often and honestly, and largely kept their posts positive.  Even when they did not agree with the commenter, they engaged, explained their view, and kept the conversation going.  We observed a lot of attention paid by the local press to the tweets of GA members, and it was surprising to see so few use this free PR to their advantage. Over the coming months, with our publication on these pages of links to each member's social media account(s), we will be curious to observe the level of engagement occurring as the legislative calendar and election season heats up.

How We Tested Social Media Usage

We focused on the two most widely used social media platforms for information sharing: Facebook and Twitter. While Instagram has twice as many active users as Twitter, a Pew Research study found that as a primarily photo-driven website, it is used far less often than Twitter for news and information exchange.  Beyond social media, we also checked whether each elected official had an active website, which in 2019 should be a no-brainer.

For the two social media platforms, we chose a specific day in October of 2019 as the end date and measured all applicable activity dating back six months and one year from that date. We chose October to encompass activity during and outside of the legislative session. Elected officials tend to be much more active on social media when the General Assembly is in session, but the job does not end on June 30th. 

With this initial version of the Social Media Rankings, we erred on the side of being generous. For example, we gave credit for having a Twitter profile even if it hadn't been used in years, as was the case with a couple of Representatives. Generally, if the Rep showed a consistent effort to engage on issues, we gave them credit for doing so. As in the Senate, we were disheartened to find that some Representatives use social media only for announcements or photo ops and make no attempt to engage their constituents. As a result, they receive no comments to respond to and fail the "Responds to Comments" (FR & TR) metric by default. Lawmakers should use social media as the two-way street it is intended to be, as it not only improves service to consitutents but increases sentiment from voters.. 

Lastly, we checked to see if each Representative had an active website, and required that a text-based email address (not an image), email link, or working email form be found somewhere via a link from the homepage. If the website featured no method of contact via email or had a non-working email form, it was disqualified. As with social media, we were generous this time around, giving credit even if the website was severely outdated. Our next version of these ratings in mid-2020 will feature tighter guidelines for all metrics.

Top House of Representatives Social Media Stars

1.

Marcia Ranglin-Vassell

District 5 (Elected 2016)

2.71

Perfect Score

Positive, Upbeat Post Themes 

Good Mixing of Personal and Professional Topics

Ms. Ranglin-Vassell's cornerstone theme was positivity and social justice. Her social media posts were numerous, with a near-perfect mix of issue-based topics, personal accomplishments, and direct engagement with followers. Engagement was far greater on Facebook, but Twitter posts followed a similar theme and Marcia responded to just enough comments to earn a perfect score overall.

2.

Sherry Roberts

District 29 (Elected 2014)

2.00

Lots of Engagement on Facebook of Issues

Posts Well-Tuned to Her Constituency

Limited Number of Posts on Twitter

Ms. Roberts kept her posts focused on issues related to legislation in the GA, often sharing posts from other members and like-minded groups. Her responses to comments were often detailed with helpful instructions for constituents to take action.  Rep. Roberts' social media activity was largely relegated to Facebook, with Twitter posts few and far between, averaging about one post per month.

2.

Terri Cortvriend

District 72 (Elected 2018)

2.00

Quality, Subtantive Posts on Many Topics

Posts Often on Both Twitter and Facebook

No Engagement on Twitter

Rep. Cortvriend had an excellent mix of Facebook posts on issues of importance both locally and nationally, community activities, and announcements. Often her posts featured detailed introductions and many of her comment responses followed a similar path. Twitter posts were numerous and identical in nature to those on Facebook, however engagement was virtually non-existent on the platform.

Swipe left to see ratings

RepDistScoreFBFPFRTWTPTRWSFTW
Ajello10.291000001https://www.facebook.com/RepAjello/http://edithajello.com/
Blazejewski20.431001001https://www.facebook.com/Chris-Blazejewski-For-State-Representative-116647348370550/https://twitter.com/cblazejewskihttp://www.chrisblazejewski.com/contact.html
Walsh31.431001350https://www.facebook.com/electmoirawalsh/https://twitter.com/repmoira_jayne
Kislak41.291301301https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaforRepRI/https://twitter.com/rebeccakislakhttps://www.rebeccakislak.com/
Ranglin-Vassell52.711351351https://www.facebook.com/marciarvassell/https://twitter.com/MranglinVassellhttps://www.marciaforri.com/contact
Hull60.290001001https://twitter.com/rayhullrihttp://www.rayhull.com/
McKiernan71.141301300https://www.facebook.com/RepDanMcKiernan/https://twitter.com/repdanmckiernanhttps://danielpmckiernan.wordpress.com/
Lombardi80.141000000https://www.facebook.com/JohnLombardiForProvidence/
Williams90.711001300https://www.facebook.com/repanastasiawilliams/https://twitter.com/rep_williams9
Slater100.141000000https://www.facebook.com/ScottSlaterRI
Diaz111.141301300https://www.facebook.com/RepGraceDiaz/https://twitter.com/repgracediazhttps://www.repgracediaz.com/
Almeida120.570001300https://twitter.com/repjoealmeida
Mendez131.571351001https://www.facebook.com/MarioforRep13/https://twitter.com/mahr_ee_ohhttp://marioforrep.com/
Lima140.711001300https://www.facebook.com/CharleneLimaRI/https://twitter.com/charlenelimari
Mattiello150.861301001https://www.facebook.com/NickMattielloRI/https://twitter.com/rispeakerhttp://mattielloforcranston.com/
Millea161.291301301https://www.facebook.com/ctmforrep/https://twitter.com/hockeyref33https://chrismillea.com/
Jacquard170.000000000
Handy180.570001300https://twitter.com/artbhandy
McNamara190.431001000https://www.facebook.com/repmcnamara/https://twitter.com/ridemchair
Bennett200.291000001https://www.facebook.com/DaveBennettRN/http://joinbennett.blogspot.com/
Vella-Wilkinson211.291301301https://www.facebook.com/VellaWilkinson/https://twitter.com/vellawilkinsonhttps://vellawilkinson.weebly.com/
Solomon, Jr.220.711301000https://www.facebook.com/SolomonForRephttps://twitter.com/rep_solomon
Shekarchi230.710001301https://twitter.com/JoeShekarchihttps://joeshekarchi.com/
Shanley240.711301000https://www.facebook.com/shanleyforwarwick/https://twitter.com/evanshanley1http://www.shanleyforwarwick.com/
Noret250.571300000https://www.facebook.com/Thomas-Noret-for-State-Representative-District-25-2066767520263382/
Jackson260.000000000
Serpa270.711001300https://www.facebook.com/Patricia-Serpa-for-State-Representative-189776574384665/https://twitter.com/reppatserpa
Nardone280.711300001https://www.facebook.com/RI-Representative-George-Nardone-District-28-Coventry-187057288560423/https://www.nardonedistrict28.com/
Roberts292.001351301https://www.facebook.com/repsherryroberts/https://twitter.com/sherryroberts29https://www.repsherryroberts.com/
Caldwell301.291301301https://www.facebook.com/justine4rihttps://twitter.com/Justine4RIhttp://www.justine4ri.com/
Casimiro311.141301300https://www.facebook.com/JulieCasimiroForNorthKingstownAndExeterRhodeIsland/https://twitter.com/juliecasimirori
Craven320.861301001https://www.facebook.com/RepCravenhttps://twitter.com/RepCravenhttp://www.votebobcraven.com/
McEntee331.141301300https://www.facebook.com/CarolHaganMcEntee/https://twitter.com/repmcentee33
Tanzi341.291301301https://www.facebook.com/RI-State-Representative-Teresa-Tanzi-151848324871275/https://twitter.com/tanzisterhttp://www.teresatanzi.com/
Fogarty350.571300000https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Fogarty-State-Representative-District-35-491031404258002/
Filippi361.291301301https://www.facebook.com/BlakeAFilippi/https://twitter.com/blake_filippihttp://blake36.com/
Azzinaro370.291000001https://www.facebook.com/VoteSamAzzinaro/http://samazzinaro.weebly.com/
Kennedy380.000000000
Price390.861001301https://www.facebook.com/JustinPriceRI/https://twitter.com/justinpricerihttp://justinpriceri.com/
Chippendale400.710001301https://twitter.com/MikeWChiphttp://www.repchip.com/
Quattrocchi410.711301000https://www.facebook.com/RI-Representative-Bob-Quattrocchi-520079718194245/https://twitter.com/BobQuattrocchi
Ucci420.570001300https://twitter.com/stephen_ucci
Fellela430.000000000
Costantino440.571300000https://www.facebook.com/RepGregCostantino/
Ackerman450.711001300https://www.facebook.com/MiaForRep/https://twitter.com/miaforrep
Lyle, Jr.460.000000000
Place471.141301300https://www.facebook.com/RepDavidPlace/https://twitter.com/davidplace01
Newberry481.861301350https://www.facebook.com/Representative-Brian-C-Newberry-124211177592590/https://twitter.com/BrianCNewberry
Morin490.140001000https://twitter.com/mmorin49
Casey500.141000000https://www.facebook.com/stevecasey2012/
Phillips510.141000000https://www.facebook.com/Representative-Robert-D-Phillips-623957427619322/
Marszalkowski520.291001000https://www.facebook.com/Alex-Marszalkowski-for-State-Representative-District-52-1536175773355369/https://twitter.com/alexdistrict52http://alexdistrict52.com/
Hawkins530.711301000https://www.facebook.com/hawkinsfor53/https://twitter.com/rhawk53
O'Brien541.141301300https://www.facebook.com/Rep-Bill-Obrien-551746691654868/https://twitter.com/OBrien2018forNP
Corvese550.000000000
Maldonado560.000000000
McLaughlin570.000000000
Tobon580.431001001https://www.facebook.com/CarlosTobon/https://twitter.com/carlostobonhttp://www.carlostobon.com/
Barros590.571300000https://www.facebook.com/RepBarros/
Alzate601.141301300https://www.facebook.com/KarenDistrict60/https://twitter.com/karen_alzate26
Johnston610.000000000
Messier620.000000000
Kazarian631.291301301https://www.facebook.com/katherine.kazarian63/https://twitter.com/repkazarianhttp://www.votekazarian63.com/
Serodio640.571300000https://www.facebook.com/RepJoeSerodio/
Amore650.291001000https://www.facebook.com/votegreggamore/https://twitter.com/greggamore1
Cassar661.861351300https://www.facebook.com/cassarridistrict66/https://twitter.com/lianacassarhttps://www.electliana.org/
Knight671.291301301https://www.facebook.com/jasonknightri/https://twitter.com/rep_jasonhttp://www.jasonknightri.com/
Speakman680.861301001https://www.facebook.com/repjunespeakman/https://twitter.com/junespeakmanhttps://www.junespeakman.com/
Donovan691.291301301https://www.facebook.com/sdonovanbristol/https://twitter.com/sdonovanbristolhttp://www.susan-donovan.com/
Edwards700.861301001https://www.facebook.com/RI-State-Representative-John-G-Edwards-460010474047699/https://twitter.com/repjay70http://elect-jay.com/
Canario710.861301001https://www.facebook.com/DennisCanario/https://twitter.com/denniscanariohttp://www.denniscanario.com/
Cortvriend722.001351301https://www.facebook.com/TerriCortvriendforStateRep/https://twitter.com/terricortvriendhttps://www.terricortvriend.com/contact
Abney730.141000000https://www.facebook.com/RepMarvinAbney
Ruggiero741.291301301https://www.facebook.com/RepDebRuggiero/https://twitter.com/RepRuggierohttps://debruggiero.com/
Carson750.861301001https://www.facebook.com/laurenhcarson/https://twitter.com/laurenhcarsonhttp://www.laurencarson.com/

Key

Excellent OK Poor

How We Rank

Score is the combined average of all rank factors. The maximum possible score in this version is 2.71. The lowest possible score is 0.00. Point values were assigned based on the effort and degree of difficulty involved for a member of the General Assembly to meet the requirements. Members receive 1 point for having a political profile on Facebook (FB) and 1 point for having a profile on Twitter (TW). On Facebook, it must be a page associated with their position in the General Assembly. Personal profiles do not qualify. Because Twitter does not offer separate "profiles" and "pages" and the process of managing two profiles is more tedious, Twitter personal profiles are acceptable. Protected profiles are not.

Members receive 3 points if they actively post to Facebook (FP) and 3 points if they actively do so to Twitter (TP). Actively posting is defined by a minimum of at least 12 unique (not shares/retweets) posts in a 1 year period, with at least 3 posts in the last 6 months.

Members receive 5 points if they have received and responded to applicable comments on their posts on Facebook (FR) and 5 points for accomplishing the same on Twitter (TR). To receive credit, members must have responded to at least 90% of post comments that warranted a response in the past 6 months, with a minimum of 3 responses.

Lastly, 1 point is awarded if the member has an active website (WS) with either a properly displayed email address, email link, or a working email form.

Scores above 1.75 are considered "Excellent", scores between 0.76 - 1.74 are "OK", and scores 0.75 and under are considered "Poor".