Issue-Mapping Feminism on Twitter: Research Update

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I have always been slightly frustrated at the notion of a ‘trending topic‘ on Twitter. Lots of people are tweeting about the same thing? SO WHAT? What does that tell us? What does it contribute to?

BOOM! Just like that, my research topic was born.

Recently I published this research proposal about issue-mapping the feminism discussion on twitter. After receiving very positive feedback, I have enthusiastically continued forward on my venture to discover what lies beyond the mere “trending” Twitter conversation.



I have navigated around several tools designed to measure tweets through demographics, sentiment analysis and across various social media platforms. I have decided to use keyhole, a piece of software which tracks hashtags in real time. As per Susan’s feedback I have reduced the scope of my research. I have decided to record just three days worth of twitter data. This will give me ample time to scrounge through all the facets of the vast amount of data I expect to collect.

Something I have found fascinating thus far is the neutrality of sentiment (a measure of the attitude of a piece of writing) in tweets about feminism. Generally, when I picture a feminist, I see someone extremely passionate or emotional about a particular topic –

source: Sentiment of #feminism at as 3.12pm 23.04.17

and I picture the same for someone tweeting against feminism. Despite this, over 60% of tweets containing “#feminism” have been classified as neutral. Of course, the system is far from perfect, but it definitely was not the result I was expecting. I began my three-day data collection period yesterday, so it will be interesting to see if this fluctuates and to determine why.


To stay in touch or give feedback for my research project, you can:

(a) Follow & comment on my blog

(b) Follow me on Twitter: @claireee096

(c) Email me at


Thanks for your interest!





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