Thursday, July 05, 2012

Project mapping Twitter rumours, in graphics

A project which shows, graphically, how rumours spread via Twitter about events in the 2011 UK riots won a Data Journalism award: First Prize for ‘Data Visualisation and Storytelling". These visualisations could be useful if you are working with learners on topics to do with information, misinformation and social media. You can move the timeline along and see key tweets, and see how the tweets are connected (see the screenshot, which is taken from the site which I linked to below).

The project was led by Dr Farida Vis, who will be joining us here at Sheffield University in September. She has a research fellowship and is attached to my department, the Information School, so it will be exciting to work with her. The Twitter project was "carried out in collaboration with Dr Rob Procter from the University of Manchester, the project lead and Dr Alex Voss from St. Andrews University. The team analysed 2.6 million tweets to show how rumours ebbed and flowed across Twitter as claims were bolstered or debunked. Topics covered ranged from the absurd – animals on the loose after damage to London Zoo – to the true, such as the arson attack on Miss Selfridge in Manchester."

The website is here:

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