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Summary Stats about #StoptheNSA Twitter Activity

I gave a talk at Social Media Week Chicago with Prof. Ed Lee from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law this week. We are studying a number of online political protests including the February 11, 2014 #StoptheNSA protest spearheaded by the Day We Fight Back. Here are the summary statistics about that day on Twitter:

Total Tweets: 98,515 (2.8x as many tweets about NSA as usual)
Original tweets N: 48,374 (49%)
Retweets N: 50,141 (51%)

We collected over 2M tweets with the hashtags #StoptheNSA, #NSA, and #daywefightback from February 7, 2014 to April 8, 2014 and found that the protest did

  • create high volume activity spikes
  • involve many and diverse users
  • reach huge audiences
  • generate attention

The graph below plots the number of tweets with any of those hashtags by day. You can see a great spike on February 11, the actual day of the protest, and another spike on March 25, the day President Obama gave public remarks about the NSA at the Hague. You can also see that on the day of the protest, the #StoptheNSA hashtag was quite popular, but it mostly disappeared by the time President Obama spoke at the Hague. The general #NSA hashtag, though, received continued attention throughout this time period. Even though the protest’s own hashtag died out, the protest was likely able to generate additional, lasting interest in the NSA.

#StoptheNSA Tweets by Day

The number of tweets posted using the #StoptheNSA, #NSA, or #daywefightback hashtags.

You can learn more about our findings from the slides for our talk. If you’d like to monitor and understand your own Twitter campaign, please contact me.


So, what do you think ?

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