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#TrumpWon? trend vs. reality

a deep dive into the underlying data

Gilad Lotan
Sep 29, 2016 · 7 min read
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https://twitter.com/DustinGiebel/status/780814613021548544

Reality is Subjective, Data is Truth

In order to make sense of this event, I started off with two datasets. The first- a list of locations where the hashtag #TrumpWon trended, sampled from the REST API every 5 minutes (raw data here, timestamps in UTC). The second — a list of the first 100k tweets posted to the hashtag.

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Dispersion plot of earliest locations where #TrumpWon had trended.
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https://twitter.com/Trump_Videos/status/780616703478726657

Who are these people?

I used the list of users who were first to post to the hashtag as an input to build a community on Scale Model. Below we see a network graph of these users and their connections (who follows whom). The larger a user is the more important they are within the context of this group.

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Network Visualization of top user segments from the initial users who posted to the hashtag in an organized fashion.
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The five clusters of Twitter users who made #TrumpWon a trending topic (viz: Scale Model)
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  • Hillary apparently cheated in the debate by sending hand signals to Holt (notice how active the comments are on this page).
  • And Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe who came up during the debate, was “apparently” accused of threatening to kill a judge and being an accomplice to a murder in Venezuela (dailymail.co.uk).

On the other hand

Let’s take a look at the account that tried to spread the false information about Russia’s involvement. We can do this by seeding a Scale Model community with the followers of @DustinGiebel.

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  • A company controlled by him apparently conducted secret business in Cuba during Castro’s presidency. (MSNBC)
  • A post by a self-proclaimed “Bernie Bro”-turned Hillary supporter (aplus.com)
  • And Trump denying that he said he didn’t pay Taxes, right next to him making that statement in the debate (CNN)

Trending topics are helpful as they cut across information silos, gaining significant levels of attention from people who would otherwise never see your content.

The winner in this quest for attention and frame reaps huge rewards.

i ❤ data

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