vrijdag 23 mei 2014

The Last Mile in the Belgian Elections (VI)

Are Twitter People Nice People?

The answer is: “Depends”. In this article I make a taxonomy of tweets in the last week of the Belgian elections. Based on over 35.000 tweets we can be pretty sure that this is a representative sample. You can consider this article as an introduction to tomorrow's headline: the last election poll, based on twitter analytics.

A picture says more than a thousand tweets

The taxonomy of the Twitter community

So here it is.  The majority of tweets are negative. When you encounter positive tweets, they are either from somebody who wants to market something (in case of the elections him or herself or a candidate he or she supports) or from somebody who is forwarding a link with a positive comment.
There is a correlation between the level of negativity about a subject and the political party related to the subject. From a political point of view, the polarisation between the Walloon socialist party and the Flemish nationalist party is clearly visible on Twitter.
Even today, on the funeral of the well-respected politician of the older generation, the former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, the majority of tweets were negative. Tweets linking him to the financial scandal of the Christian democrat trade union in Dexia were six times more than the pious "RIP JLD" variants.
So how do you derive popularity and even arrive at some predictive value from a bunch of negative tweets?  That, my dear blog readers, will be examined tomorrow in the final article. 

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