Twitter political index launches for US election

Aug 01, 2012
Twitter on Wednesday launched a new political index aimed at gauging the 2012 US presidential race by analyzing daily tweets.

Twitter on Wednesday launched a new political index aimed at gauging the 2012 US presidential race by analyzing daily tweets.

In the first release, the index gave US President a score of 34 -- down four points from the previous day -- to 25 for Republican rival Mitt Romney, who was up two points.

But a historical look at the index since May 1 showed wide variation, with Obama's score ranging from 10 to 74 and Romney's from 14 to 64.

The index is calculated with a company called Topsy, which provides "real-time social analytics" by analyzing to calculate a daily score measuring how Twitter users feel about the .

"Imagine getting a glimpse into election conversations happening all over the nation every day. Topsy analyzes massive amounts of tweets in real-time to measure those conversations, understand what people are talking about and make sense of it," said Duncan Greatwood, chief executive of Topsy.

"Through this partnership with Twitter, we're excited to make this the measurement to get the pulse of the nation leading up to the fall elections."

Topsy said it studies more than 400 million tweets a day in an effort to gauge how people feel about any key word or term related to the candidates.

"Thanks to this depth of data and scale of technology, Topsy's social sentiment algorithm has been tested to agree with human classification more than 90 percent of the time," a company statement said.

"Tweets are then given a score that ranges from zero to 100, with higher scores being more positive and lower scores more negative."

Adam Sharp, 's head of government, news and , said the index "lends new insight into the natural, unprompted opinion of the electorate."

"Just as technologies like radar and satellite joined the thermometer and to give a more complete picture of the weather, so too does the index we've partnered with Topsy on stand with traditional methods like surveys and focus groups to paint a more complete picture of the political forecast," Sharp added.

Topsy said that even though it uses different methods, its index is "highly correlated" to Gallup Poll's approval ratings for Obama for the past two years.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Twitter users tough on Republicans, Obama

Dec 08, 2011

(AP) -- The 2012 presidential contenders have had a rough go of it on Twitter, according to an analysis of the political conversation taking place on the popular social network.

Secret Service to probe hack on Fox News Twitter

Jul 04, 2011

(AP) -- The Secret Service said Monday it will investigate the hacking of Fox's political Twitter account over updates claiming that President Barack Obama had been assassinated. ...

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...