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"Federal agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear have taken to the streets of Portland, unleashing tear gas, bloodying protesters and pulling some people into unmarked vans in what Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon has called "a blatant abuse of power ... the response by the homeland security agents in Portland has prompted backlash over whether the federal officers are exceeding their arrest authority and violating the rights of protesters." - NY Times

Twitter was flooded with comments about the blatant abuse of power. How can social media be analyzed quickly? Who is tweeting the most? What hashtags and keywords are used the most? Who are the key influencers? The public sentiment on the issue?

DemLabs analyzed over 25,000 tweets with NexaIntelligence social media monitoring software for insights on the situation.

Background: Reaction to masked Federal agents abducting Portland protestors

“I was terrified,” Pettibone said. “It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.”

"Kelly Simon, the interim legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said that the alarming federal tactics, such as the unmarked vans, have been used at times to intimidate immigrant communities, and that she worried the use of the tactics was growing. “What we’re seeing in Portland should concern everybody in this country,” she said. - NY Times

"Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler demanded that they stop, saying, “Keep your troops in your own buildings,” while Oregon’s governor plans legal action." - OZY

Video captioned by DemLabs using Machine Learning (ML) software.

Social Media analysis

NexaIntelligence from Datametrex AI is a social-media discovery and monitoring platform. It collects and analyses data from Twitter and other social media platforms to make qualitative analyses and provide insights such as:
- Interactive timeline showing peaks of activity
- Most frequent publishers and most frequently mentioned accounts
- Most common words and hashtags
- Lexical map that automatically clusters conversations to show common patterns of interactions and key topics
- A geolocation-based heat map

We used "#theresistance" and "@eleven_films" to conduct this analysis. The app continuously imports tweets on these keywords from Twitter and analyzes them to provide insights such as:
TIMELINE View the data in time
TOP CONTENT Find out what links and posts are being shared the most.
TOP TERMS See what hashtags and words are being used most often.
LEXICAL MAP Discover top and emerging themes.
TOPICS MAP Explore which of your topics is trending and why.
ALERTS LOG See what alerts have triggered.
ACTORS BY QUERY Observe posts or actors across your queries.
TOP ACTORS The most mentioned and the most active users.
ACTOR INTERACTIONS A bird"s eye view of who is talking to whom.
RETWEET STATS See what and whom is being the most retweeted.

Read the Twitter social media analysis report for this project for the time period July 16-18 here. Unlike Twitter, Facebook does not provide any external interface by which posts can be monitored or analyzed.

Analyze social media in real-time to spot breaking events before the mainstream media cover it. Identify key influencers on the issue and the hashtags being used.

The importance of social media monitoring: trending issues, public sentiment, key influencers, and keywords.

Campaigns need to monitor social media to understand trending issues, public sentiment, identify key influencers and spot keywords getting traction. It also helps campaign experiment with different messages to see which works better (also called A/B testing).

Take away

Tweets are a leading indicator of what may appear in the news later. Monitor it for a rapid response. Drop us a line if you need pro bono help with social media monitoring help for issues around civil rights and social justice.


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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.