On predicting social unrest using social media

Rostyslav Korolov, Di Lu, Jingjing Wang, Guangyu Zhou, Claire Bonial, Clare Voss, Lance Kaplan, William Wallace, Jiawei Han, Heng Ji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We study the possibility of predicting a social protest (planned, or unplanned) based on social media messaging. We consider the process called mobilization, described in the literature as the precursor of participation. Mobilization includes four stages: being sympathetic to the cause, being aware of the movement, motivation to take part and ability to participate. We suggest that expressions of mobilization in communications of individuals may be used to predict the approaching protest. We have utilized several Natural Language Processing techniques to create a methodology to identify mobilization in social media communication. Results of experimentation with Twitter data collected before and during the 2015 Baltimore events and the information on actual protests taken from news media show a correlation over time between volume of Twitter communications related to mobilization and occurrences of protest at certain geographical locations. We conclude with discussion of possible theoretical explanations and practical applications of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2016
EditorsRavi Kumar, James Caverlee, Hanghang Tong
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages89-95
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509028467
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2016
Event2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2016 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2016Aug 21 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2016

Other

Other2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2016
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period8/18/168/21/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Communication

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