Disclaimer: I am purposely withholding a detailed analysis as I do not feel qualified to make statistical judgements about the data, but rather present these graphs in hope that it gives a new and different perspective on the impact that twitter has on spreading information.
Like a lot of the rest of the world, I have been glued to TweetDeck monitoring the various trending topics regarding the current conflict going on in Iran. I got curious and wondered if there would be a way to track the frequency of specific keywords used in every tweet. I wrote a script that queries twitter every minute and pulls the last 100 tweets from #IranElection and #gr88 (they seem to be the most active topics) and let it run over night. The following is what I plugged into Tableau this morning. The data starts at around midnight GMT and ends around 11 pm GMT. This is by no means scientific-although I tried my best to ensure that I wasn’t pulling the same tweets over and over again to ensure the integrity of the data-but rather an interesting way to look at what’s going on over there.
This first graph shows the frequency of the usage of the word Azadi by each hour. Azadi square is the location of the Freedom Tower in Tehran where massive protests were occuring and according to twitter the Basij militia was opening fire in the crowd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadi_Tower
NOTE: Many of the tweets during hour 0 and 1 were re-tweets of many of the same messages, some of which were:
- RT from Iran: in azadi sq the killing was by baseej ONLY – military did not react – #Iranelection #GR88
- Keep fighting for your Azadi!! #IranElection
This graph shows the frequency of the word ‘basij’ by hour. The Basij is a militia group that according to many of the tweets counted in this graph were the one’s openly firing on protesters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basij
Here are some examples of what was being said
- Basij seen taking away students from Tehran Uni. Most likely to Evin Prison CONFIRMED??? #iranelection
- “RT Soldiers still have not attacked, attacking “”soldiers”” are Basiji playing dressup. #iranelection #gr88″
- Indications today lots of arms of government moving to Mousavi. Army won’t shoot, police arrest basijis #Iranelection #Iranelections #gr88
I also was curious about the frequency of the word arrest. Here are some of the tweets:
- RT BBC Persian says door-to-door arrests of reformers continues #iranelection
- RT: Hamid Reza Jalahipour’s son, Mohammed Reza was arrested at the airport as he was flying back to Oxford Uni – BBC Persian #iranelection
- RT GO BACK & DELETE ALL PAST TWEETS that may have iran usernames . Arrests have been made. Please RT & ENSURE ALL SEE THIS #iranelection
UPDATE: @mcristia and @joemako were kind enough to take my data and make some pretty sweet charts that put mine to shame! Thanks for the contribution guys!
I am continually blown away by the power of this awesome tool!