We set out to weigh more than
800,000 tweets on topics related to
the revolution so we could present
our analysis here from three different perspectives:a First, how sentiment evolved in response to unfolding events; how the most influential
tweeters and popular tweets shed
light on the most influential Twitter
users and what types of tweets reverberated most strongly; and how user
sentiment and follower relationships
relate in terms of dynamic social network characteristics and sentiment.
Using these metrics, we compared
Egypt-related topics during the revolution to other popular early-2011
trending topics (such as politics,
sports, and entertainment) (see the
sidebar “Pulse of a Revolution”).
To get a sense of how Twitter activity reflected the events of the revolution, we
selected six Egypt-related topics that
trended at least three days during the
period January 25–February 11, 2011,
where a trending topic was a subject
identified by Twitter that notably increased how much it was discussed.
We also selected topics that trended
several times to see how conversations
developed in response to the events of
We collected thousands to hun-
dreds of thousands of tweets for each
day Egypt-related topics were trending
and assessed the sentiment of daily
tweets. We classified the sentiment
for each tweet as positive, negative, or
neutral based on a sentiment-analysis
technique described by Zhang et al.
Twitter does not require users provide
their geographical location, we were
unable to isolate the tweets coming
from within Egypt itself.