Welcome!

News Feed Item

How Twitter Shapes Public Opinion

Dominant, Majority Viewpoints Emerge Quickly on Twitter and, Once Stabilized, Become Difficult to Change -- New Study in the Journal CHAOS

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How exactly does Twitter, with its 241 million users tweeting out 500 million messages daily, shape public opinion?

AIP Publishing

That question was tackled by a group of researchers in China who investigated how opinions evolve on Twitter by gathering about 6 million 140-character-or-less messages that were tweeted out over a six month period in the first half of 2011. They ran these messages through computer algorithms that sorted them by topic ("iPhone 4" or "blackberry," for instance), and they analyzed the underlying sentiments of the authors as they evolved over time.

Described in the journal Chaos, produced by AIP Publishing, the work reveals several surprises about how Twitter shapes public opinion, said Fei Xiong, a lecturer at Beijing Jiaotong University who gathered and analyzed the data with Professor Yun Liu. The new revelations may shape how political candidates run their social media campaigns or influence the way companies market their goods and services.

What the Study Found   
Xiong and Liu discovered that public opinion on Twitter often evolves rapidly and levels off quickly into an ordered state in which one opinion remains dominant. In true social media form, this consensus is often driven by the endorsements of larger and larger groups, which tend to have the most influence.

The work also revealed that when dominant opinions emerge, however, they tend not to achieve complete consensus. In fact, Xiong said, when Twitter users who hold minority views are faced with overwhelming opposition, they are still not likely to change their opinions.

Since public opinion levels off and evolves into an ordered state within a short time, small advantages of one opinion in the early stages can turn into a bigger advantage during the evolution of public opinion, Xiong said.

"Once public opinion stabilizes, it's difficult to change," he added.

The work also revealed that Twitter users overall are more likely to work to change the opinions of others than to admit to changes of their own.

How the Data Was Collected  
The researchers downloaded tweets for this study using Twitter's open API [application programming interface] to get a random sampling of all data, which was then narrowed based on topic.

While this particular study was done more than two years ago, and there are more Twitter users now, the researchers believe that the results would still be similar if done on a new dataset today, though Xiong and Liu said the analysis might be improved by integrating new algorithms that analyze the sentiment of the messages.

Xiong envisions that political candidates and large companies may benefit from applying this work toward developing "network applications" that would move beyond simply collecting and analyzing users' opinions and allow them to develop and test hypotheses about what really works.

"By focusing on a network application, candidates or companies can analyze the characteristics and behavior patterns of their supporters and protesters to explore whether the measures they take can influence public opinion and which opinion may succeed," Xiong said.

The research article appears in the journal CHAOS. It will be published online on March 11, 2014. After that date, it may be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/ptbq7m4

ABOUT THE JOURNAL
Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science is devoted to increasing the understanding of nonlinear phenomena and describing the manifestations in a manner comprehensible to researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines. See: http://chaos.aip.org/

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130627/DC39790LOGO

Contact:
Jason Socrates Bardi
+1-240-535-4954
[email protected]

SOURCE CHAOS: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across supply chain networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost and time for product recall as well as advance trade. Are you curious about Blockchain and how it can provide you with new opportunities for innovation and growth? In her session at 20th Cloud Exp...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...