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: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

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

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

11 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0