The answer to who will win the Nov. 8 election may be buried under the avalanche of tweets supporting each candidate, a new paper by the City College of New York contends.
Researchers analyzed 73 million tweets from June 1 to Sept. 1 and concluded that trends match the New York Times polling averages “with remarkable accuracy.”
“More importantly, for the CCNY team, the Twitter opinion trend forecasts the aggregated Times polls by 6 to 15 days, showing that Twitter can be an early warning signal of global opinion trends at the national level,” the college says in an announcement of the research.
Hernan Makse, a physics professor at the school, said: “Our analytics, which are available at kcorelab.com, unleash the power of Twitter to predict social opinion trends from elections, brands to political movements. Our results suggest that the multi-billion public opinion polling industry could be replaced by Twitter analytics performed practically for free.”
While Donald Trump supporters are more active overall on a daily basis, Hillary Clinton supporters dominate during major events, such as the conventions, the researchers said.
According to the paper: “While Trump supporters might be gaining the race inside the strongly connected giant component, thus forming a very cohesive group with large influence at the core of the network, Clinton still wins the popular vote when we consider all the Twitter supporters, and not only those in the SCGC.
“Thus, while the Twitter campaign of Clinton seems to be less enthusiastic and dormant compared to the Twitter Trump machinery, candidate Clinton still wins the popular vote in the whole network.”
However, they said, “it remains a question” whether Clinton’s overall support — apparently much less fervent than Trump’s — translates into actual votes on Election Day. But analyses of services like Twitter could eventually replace costlier and more time-consuming polling efforts, the college says.
OMG. People who lurk on Facebook without posting and get bombarded by friends posting selfies are probably going to end up feeling down in the dumps.
They’re more likely to suffer a drop in self-esteem and life satisfaction, a new study by Penn State University finds.
The people who post the selfies, on the other hand, enjoyed increased self-esteem.
“People usually post selfies when they’re happy or having fun,” said Ruoxu Wang, a Penn State graduate student in mass communications. “This makes it easy for someone else to look at these pictures and think his or her life is not as great as theirs.”
In other words, 21st century life is a cabaret — as long as you have a smartphone with a selfie stick and Internet access.
Image credit: VectorOpenStock via Wikimedia Commons