Twindex Launch Inspires Twitter Users To Speak Up On Obama, Romney

August 3, 2012
Photo Source: Twitter.com
Twitter has launched a new real-time index focused solely on the 2012 US presidential election, specifically public sentiment on the two key candidates for the seat: Incumbent US President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) and Republican Party nominee and former governor of Massachussetts Mitt Romney?(@MittRomney). The Twitter Political Index, Twindex (#twindex), for short, was unveiled August 1, 2012 as a way to gauge enthusiasm among micro-bloggers about the upcoming elections. The index results are based on an average of two million tweets a week that mention the candidates in any way or use them as hashtags, i.e. #BarackObama or #MittRomney. The Twitter index began appearing in the USA Today Twitter Election Meter?and at the designated Twitter Election page. The meter publishes approval ratins similar to the way opinion polls operate. The index runs from zero to 100, with a 50 as neutral. Anything above 50 is positive, while anything below that is negative. The information collected over the 400 million tweets made daily (on the average) are sent directly to Twitter's development partner, Topsy Labs, for analysis. Of course, this is not to say, nor does Twitter or Topsy?claim, that the results are indicative of an election's outcome, or it actually represents the voice of the entire voting public. "This is not an alternative, it's not a replacement for opinion polls. It's a new sort of information that there was no way of accessing," said Rishab Ghosh, chief scientist for Topsy to USA Today. "We aren't asking anybody anything. People are saying things on their own." The Twitter Political Index relies on 'sentiment analysis' ? a computer search of social media posts to determine users' attitudes. Of course, analyzing sentiment is a tricky thing and is subject to a lot of manipulation and error. However, it is good to know what the online community thinks and how they react to certain matters concerning what is perhaps the most important decision for Americans in 2012. "Anybody who's really interested in understanding political dynamics is going to be interested in the ebb and flow of these numbers. They do reflect something about the tone and intensity of the political conversation that is going on in this country," Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who helped Twitter develop the index said in the same news item.  

Featured Resources


Connect on Twitter


Find us around the web

Lean Hashtags Facebook Hashtags Twitter Hashtags Google Plus image