Idle No More was started by four women and functioned as a largely female-driven movement in its early days. Between December 1 and 15, women led with 61% of all Twitter traffic while men accounted for only 39%. Online political chatter in Canada generally skews 70% male (give or take). This makes Idle No More unique, at least in the early days.

The movement became more gender-neutral for a while as men became more active gaining a slight edge with 52% of all traffic while women dropped in share by 13% to 48%. Men continued to take on more share in January, heading toward more familiar gender splits in Canadian political chatter. Men led ith 57% of online chatter between January 1 and 19 while women dropped to 43%.


Gender is determined through analysis of Twitter handles and the first and last names as set in Twitter profiles. For account with names such as @nooneislegal and branded accounts such as @DriversEatFirst, there is no ability to determine the gender of the account holder — unless through analysis of tweet content. Some of the ‘genderless’ chatter can also be explained by the increase in ‘noise’ which I explain in another post.

Based on analysis, it seems nearly half of Idle No More chatter participants have not revealed their gender in their account. The graph that follow show the actual distribution of gender based on ‘properly named’ Twitter accounts and those for which gender cannot be determined.


Index of my Idle No More at two months analysis series:

I conducted analysis using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat and MAP, and a custom tool I’m having developed which I call Compass.

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