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Paper Title (use style: paper title) On Whether Tweets Predict Elections A review of the literature indicates “No” Damien Bourke School of Information Technology & Mathematical Sciences University of...

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Paper Title (use style: paper title)
On Whether Tweets Predict Elections
A review of the literature indicates “No”
Damien Bourke
School of Information Technology & Mathematical Sciences
University of South Australia
Mawson Lakes, Australia
Abstract—Twitter is an easy to use source of data, and several researchers have used the data contained within tweets to make election predictions. However, Twitter users are not a representative sample of the general population, and thus using tweets as a source for predictions should be undertaken with caution, if used at all. Although certain models produced thus far claim to predict election results, a closer examination finds that they lack methodological rigor, thus casting their results in doubt. Improvements in existing models may lead to better results, and ideas for future, more robust models are discussed. However, Twitter should, at most, complement rather than replace existing forecasting methods.
Keywords—twitter; election results; prediction
Twitter ( is a microblogging platform whereby users publish tweets, which are visible to users’ followers. A tweet has a 140-character limitation; and thus, conveys less information than either a Facebook post or blog entry (since neither face the same 140-character restraint). Although figures have not been updated since August 2013, Twitter users have been estimated to send approximately 500 million tweets per day [1]. There are approximately 313 million [2] falling into three categories.
The first type of users is individuals representing themselves, which is the most common type of account. However, it must be noted that accounts can be shared between users and/or devices. For example, after Donald Trump was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, his official account, @realDonaldTrump, had posts sent from at least two devices: at least one Android mobile telephone and at least one iPhone. As the attitude and content of the messages from either device varied, it is suspected that the Android messages were sent by Donald Trump himself, while the iPhone messages were sent by his campaign staff (the iPhone-based messages were notable more restrained compared to the more puerile Android-based messages) [3].
The second type of users is individuals who represent organizations. For example, posts made on behalf of corporations or political parties are done so by one or more (unknown and potentially unknowable) individuals representing that corporation or party. For example, it is unclear as to who is the author of tweets from @secularparty; similarly, it is unclear how many individuals post on behalf of this account for the Secular Party of Australia.
The third type of users is automated (botnet) accounts. For example, @RealPressSecBot, which “Checks for new @realDonalTrump tweets every 5 min & transforms them into co
ect Presidential statement format.” [4]. One estimate of the total number of botnet accounts is in the millions [5], although it the actual number of such accounts is unknown.
Source of Twitter Data
With regards to the time during which election campaigns took place, a review of 127 studies [6] found three main sources of data were obtained from Twitter: from candidates or parties, from the general public, and from mediated events.
Tweets from political parties or candidates fell into two basic categories:
oadcasting messages, and replies to messages. Previous research found that most tweets from politicians or political parties adopted a
oadcast style; these tweets were intended for one-way dissemination of content from the sender to the receiver. Such tweets include retweets, and represent posting about a topic, rather responding to a topic. Thus, these types of tweets focused on self-promotion [7], impression management [8], information dissemination [9], and party mobilization [10]. By way of example, a self-promotional tweet is shown in Fig. 1, where the tween from an organization user is directed to both @ScottMo
isonMP and the Twitter feeds based on hashtags #qt (Question time in the Australian Federal Parliament) and #auspol (Australian politics).
This Govt has a plan to drive the economy forward and get expenditure under control - @ScottMo
isonMP #qt #auspol
Fig. 1    Tweet from Liberal Party of Australia (@LiberalAus), 13-Sep-2016
However, more recent research indicates that usage of Twitter has moved toward a more conversation and dyadic style of interaction; an increasing percentage of tweets contain replies and mentions [11] (both of which use the “@” feature to direct tweets to the specified users), as shown in Fig. 2, where the tweet from an organization is directing to two individuals, @PaulineHansonOZ and @LyleShelton, while at the same time the post is observable to all followers of @aussexparty, as well as being available in the Twitter feed for #auspol (Australian politics).
Absolute silence from @PaulineHansonOz and @LyleShelton on the Christian extremists who vandalised a war memorial in Queensland. #auspol
Fig. 2    Tweet from Australian Sex Party (@aussexparty), 03-Mar-2017
Tweets from the general public also fell into two basic categories: messages to parties or candidates, and messages about parties or candidates. Messages to parties or candidates involve mentioning the user account by prefixing their account with “@”, as shown in Fig. 3, where the tweet from an individual user is directed to @NSWLabor and is available in the Twitter feed for #abortion.
Dear @NSWLabor I feel betrayed as a woman that the party has male MPs in it who denied my bodily autonomy today. Voting Green. #abortion
Fig. 3    Tweet from Jackie McMillan (@MissDissentEats) mentioning Australian Labor Party, 11-May-2017
Messages about parties or candidates may include the name of the party or politician in either free text or as a hashtag. Tweets containing free text reference to political parties may be difficult to find in the Twitter data stream, as shown in Fig. 4, where although the tweet is clearly about SA Liberals, it was not directed to their Twitter account @LiberalSAHQ; however, the tweet is available in the Twitter feeds for #auspol (Australian politics) and #saparli (South Australian Parliament).
The SA Liberals first response to securing our energy future - it's all about coal #auspol #saparli https:
Fig. 4    Tweet from Australian Labor Party, South Australia Branch (@alpsa) concerning the Liberal Party of Australia, 14-Mar-2017
Tweets from mediated events represent user interaction with television programs such as Q&A [12] or American Idol [13], an example of which uses the QandA hashtag is shown in Fig. 5, where a tweet from an organization user is made available to the Twitter feed #QandA (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s television program Q&A).
Ultimately the political class is distrustful of the arts because of sarcasm criticism ridicule of Govt decisions. #QandA
Fig. 5    Tweet from Seniors United Party of Australia (@AVoice4Seniors) using #QandA, 13-Mar-2017
Adopting Technology
As technology changes, politicians have adapted to and adopted their use. For example, Roosevelt’s voice was a match for radio [14], Kennedy’s charisma commanded television [15], and Obama em
aced Twitter [16]. The trend continues; all 17 Republican contenders for the presidential nomination used Twitter [17], with Donald Trump’s Twitter feed scoring highest on three constructs most likely to resonate with Republican voters: grandiosity, informality, and dynamism. A further study [3] observed that Trump’s mainly simple and repetitious, overwhelmingly negative and insulting tweets frequently use exclamation marks and words in capitalized forms.
Various trends in the areas of the economy, public opinion and population health have been identified by the predictive use of analytics on social media data; for example, using Google trends for financial trading [18] and internet searches [19]. Such mining is not perfect [20], and such models are modified as their results are compared to other sources of data. Twitter has been used to make predictions in areas such as: whether or not a movie will be successful [21], the marketability of consumer goods [22], the rise and fall of the stock market [23], and the location and spread of pandemics [24]. The success of using data from Twitter to make prediction in real-world activities led researchers to investigate the extent to which Twitter could be used to forecast election results.
Predicting Election Results
Forecasting election results started with the 2009 German election, which concluded that the mere number of tweets about a party was a predictor of electoral success for that party [16] (i.e. it was unimportant whether or not the tweets were positive or negative; quantity was more important that quality). These results were soon rebutted [25] and the original authors offered a response to that criticism [26], watering down the predictive capabilities of their model. Thus, the debate the extent to which Twitter data could and should be used to forecast election results began. This debate is far from settled, although subsequent studies [27], [28], [29], [30], [31] have questioned the extent to which Twitter can provide accurate forecasting.
Following from that initial German study, data from Twitter has been used to predict elections in different countries, including: Brazil (2010): [32], France (2012) [33], Ireland (2011) [27], Italy (2011) [33], (2013) [34], Netherlands (2011) [28], New Zealand (2011) [35], Norway (2013) [11], Spain (2011) [36], Singapore (2011) [29], the United Kingdom (2010) [37], (2015) [38], and the United States of America (2010) [39], [36].
One concern with studies using data from Twitter is that most studies are post hoc and do produce true forecasts (results issued before the election) [40]. Indeed, on several occasions, election-related tweets have been subjected to post processing, with resulting claims that this data might have been able to make co
ect predictions [30]. By 2012, no paper had predicted a forward result [41]; however, a more recent paper [38] did make a forward prediction (and interestingly, that prediction was found be inco
Sourcing Data
The studies reviewed obtained their data from Twitter via a mixture of four methods, ranging in order of labor intensity: manually, using web-scrapes, using Twitter’s API, or utilizing third-party data sets. Manual transcription involves typing content from the Twitter website into a format useful for analysis. Web-scraping typically involves obtaining data in a format which must be cleaned in order to identify useful attributes. Using Twitter’s API allows data to be extracted into analysis tools such as R. Finally, third-party software products allow for complete data sets to be acquired.
A comparison of the results returned by various collection methods has not taken place [6]. For example, there is no agreed upon measure for ‘counting votes’: some studies count tweets, others count users, other perform (varying types of) sentiment analysis [41]. Thus, it is difficult to compare and contrast the merits of using one collection method over another. Given the absence of rigor in collecting and analyzing Twitter data, Twitter studies risk being as meaningless as the 1936 Literary Digest presidential poll [42], whereby a privileged and non-representative sample of the population (Literary Digest subscribers with telephones) was used to unsuccessfully predict the results of the presidential election.
Measuring Data
Moving beyond counting the mere number of tweets, later studies introduced various research methods to both complement and supplement simple statistics, including: adding candidate attributes [43], comparing number of
Answered Same Day Jun 08, 2021


J Anitha answered on Jun 12 2021
144 Votes
Use of Social Media Analytics in Business
Social media analytics use large data content data from social media and other sources to know the attitudes and behaviors of people. This helps in providing insights about the customer and dealers for the Business. The SMA in business is largely unexplored. A framework of SMA is developed. The frame work consists of organizational motivations, SMA Capabilities and Benefits. They are described in the presentation.The SMA strategy is used in business decision-making. It
ings competitive advantage to business.
Keywords: Social Media Analytics, Motivations, Capabilities, Benefits.
I. Introduction
Social media is a rapidly growing phenomenon. They are web-based applications using Web 2.0 for sharing user’s content data and ideas[12]. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, blogs and discussion forums are few examples of Social Data. They are used for getting consumer opinions, customer experiences and customer sentiments about the products and service.
Social media analytics (SMA) uses user’s content data from social media and online sources. The data content is semi- structured and unstructured. They are used in providing business insights, customer sentiments and perspectives on
ands, products, service and marketing campaigns[15].
A. SMA Stages
The SMA Process has three stages: "capture," "understand," and "present". They are refe
ed as CUP framework. Capture extracts the required information by monitoring social media data. Understand highlights relevant data after separating noisy low-quality data. It uses analytical methods on the social media data for getting meaningful insights. The present displays the results of the process.
B. Framework
A framework for SMA is given below:
1. Background study involving social media, business analytics and SMA
2. Research Approach
3. Framework providing important concepts and relationships based on organizational motivation and RBV theories.
The framework is developed after analysing 40 success stories published by SMA Vendors and from relevant literature. The framework provides researchers for learning the SMA impacts on Business. The framework provides systematic way of getting benefits for the Practitioners.
II Background
A. Social Media in Business
Using Social media, Businesses and customers share knowledge, opinions and experiences on a wide variety of issues. There are billion active users in Facebook and Twitter. Businesses share their businesses,
ands, items and the services they provide in the Social Media. Using Social media businesses do marketing. Businesses become efficienct. It creates good customer relationship[17]. Business awareness is thus created.
B. Business Impact on Social Media Analytics
SMA is applied in e-commerce, customer service, marketing, supply chain and product development[5]. It is also used in e-governance, to improve customer relationships, to create
and awareness at a lower cost and speed. There exists flexibility in operations.
Social Media data are unstructured and heterogenous. SMA uses information retrieval, test mining, data mining and social network analysis techniques.
SMA techniques are combined with organizational processes, routines and people. This creates SMA capabilities[27]. Sentiment
Analysis measures the customer sentiments on the products,
ands and marketing campaigns.
Vendor success stories were studied to refine the three components of SMA. The stories were from vendor web sites. Sixty-four success stories of major vendors are researched. The following were selected vendors: IBM, SAP and SAS. Some social media monitoring companies : Sentiment Metrics, Alterian, Radian6 and EvoApp are analysed.
The final framework of Social Media Analytics[11] in Business is presented.
Organisational Motivation
Social Media Analytics Capabilities
A. Organisational Motivations
Organisational motivations is quoted as follows : “With the goal of targeting specific interest groups, the company needs a clear understanding of each group’s needs and habits”.
A summary of motivations is presented below:
    Frequency in Success Stories
    Generating Customer Insights
    Understanding customer values and behaviours
    Generating Strategies with social Media
    Developing feasibility studies for marketing campaigns
    Brands, Products and Services information.
    Getting content, feedback,
and and products information and services through online.
    Online campaigns
    Develop return on investment (ROI) and online marketing research
    Identifying social influencers
    Identify people and communities who influence others
B. Social Media Analytics Capabilities
The various capabilities from Social Media Analytics[34] are Sentiment analysis, Insight mining. trend analysis, Influence Analysis, Competitive analysis, Marketing initiative measurement, and crisis analysis . They are explained in the below The Social Media Capabilities table.
    Social Media Analytics Capabilities
    Frequency in Success Stories
    Sentiment Analysis
    Sentiment polarity(positive, negative,neutral) and attitudes for the issues are determined.
    Insight Mining[19]
    Develop customer insights
    Trend Analysis
    Track and monitor issue changes over time
    Influence Analysis
    Identify Key people and communities who worked on the issues.
    Competitive Analysis
    Analyse the comments about competitor
ands and products.
    Marketing Initiative measurement
    Analyse the comments about particular
ands and products
    Crisis Analysis
    Negative comments and negative sentiment about
ands and products are analysed.
C. Benefits
Benefits are the outcome of SMA capabilities. It
ings success to the individuals, people and the organization[33]. The SMA benefits table is given below:
    Frequency in Success Stories
    Progress in Marketing Campaign
    Marketing strategies are refined and initiatives to reach targeted customers are created.
    Progress in Customer Service
    Respond to customer in a timely and appropriate manner.
    Develop Brand Awareness and Reputation Management
and and product reputation were analysed.
    Development in Social Media Metrics
    Measure the effectiveness and ROI of Social Media Analytics
    Progress in Business Process
    Business Operations are improved and value chain optimised.
    Opportunities in Business process
    Analyse latest opportunities in business for increased revenue and income
D. Relationships between Components
i) Organization Motivations directs to SMA Capabilities.
ii) SMA Capabilities directs to Benefits[27].
In the later portion we consider Bankco which is a large financial institution for a case study. It uses SMA as a critical component for its marketing process. SMA gives Bankco insights, customer sentiments and awareness of products.
Organizations share knowledge, opinions and experiences in social media. The organization using the Social Media analytics tool analyses customer sentiments for buying their
ands, products, and services[20].
Social media gives insights for the organizations.Using Social Media Marketing...

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