By July 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

#DeathOfEvidence tweets part of an uptick in online political activity

Despite the volume of tweets about yesterday’s Major League Baseball All Star Game (338,267) and the home run derby the day before (360,715), online buzz about the Canadian science community’s #DeathOfEvidence rally did okay.

In fact, with hot topics like MPs who publish self-promoting petitions, changes to refugee health care benefits and cuts to science funding, it looks like Canadian political twitter traffic is actually picking up in the summer months.

The rally was organized to protest deep budget cuts to science programs by the Conservative Government. Scientists took to Parliament Hill and Twitter to express their concerns and frustrations.

In all, 2,604 tweeters identified 5,324 tweets with the #DeathOfEvidence hashtag or phrase “Death of Evidence” yesterday. It’s worth noting there was likely many more relevant tweets which did not use the tag. One search I did suggests there may have been more than 800 additional Canadian-sourced tweets relating to the protest which did not use the hashtag. And while a majority of the tweets were from Canada, roughly 11% of relevant tweets were issued from Twitter accounts in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

The protest was structured as a mock funeral so many of the tweets used language including funeral, death and mourn. There was also the typical straight reporting on events as noted by terms such as crowd, rallying, rally, protest and hill. The most active parts of the conversation connected terms including science, harper, evidence and [Bill] c38. With her popular coverage and retweetable tweets, CBC reporter Kady O’Malley also found her way in the Buzz Graph.

Unlike most political issues for which gender splits skew about 70% male, #DeathOfEvidence tweets skewed only 58% male.

However, like most political issues there was very little conversation. Most of the traffic was the amplifier effect; rebroadcasts (known as retweets) of tweets issued by others. There was very little conversation.

While 66% of participating tweeters came and left in a single tweet, 34% issued 2 or more tweets. Of those, 4% issued 5 or more.

 

Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos MAP.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.