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Visualization of Egyptian Revolution On Twitter

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the revolution-will-not-be-televised dept.

Twitter 53

An anonymous reader writes "A visualization of the network of retweets with the hashtag #jan25 at February 11 2011, at the time of the announcement of Mubarak's resignation, is available. The data was collected using Gephi connected to the Twitter Streaming API, converting the users and retweets to nodes and edges in a dynamic network. Though the data represents only approximately 10% of the retweets, it's interesting to see the large flow of interconnected retweets in just one hour." I've attached the video if you want to watch it.

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53 comments

Interesting? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211230)

it's interesting to see the large flow of interconnected retweets in just one hour

I think the visualization of a slashdotting is more interesting.

Re: Interesting? (1, Flamebait)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211264)

Am I the only one out there that is getting a bit bored with the 24/7 coverage of this?

I mean...sure it is important...mostly to people on that side of the world, but man..enough is enough. Gotta be something new that's newsworthy...

Re: Interesting? (3, Funny)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211290)

But...but...this is totally different because it involves Twitter!!! Twiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitter!!!!

Re: Interesting? (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211370)

May I suggest listening to "Why Does This Always Happen to Me" by Weird Al Yankovic?

Re: Interesting? (3, Insightful)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211456)

Stop whining. Now you have to pay your dues for the 4-year live feed of "internationally significant" OJ Simpson trial. (Outside USA he was relevant only as an actor in The Naked Gun trilogy, still not justifying complete lack of any other programming on CNN 'International')

Re: Interesting? (4, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212110)

Am I the only one out there that is getting a bit bored with the 24/7 coverage of this?

I mean...sure it is important...mostly to people on that side of the world, but man..enough is enough. Gotta be something new that's newsworthy...

Egypt is a regional power, and a significant US ally. It's literally undergoing a democratic revolution. The revolution has been mostly peaceful. The revolution has significant implications to long-term US interests. And the revolution has been extremely rapid.

There are plenty of other things going on. But for once, I'm with the news people: this is huge, this is newsworthy, and this is worth following.

Re: Interesting? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213076)

"Egypt is a regional power, and a significant US ally. It's literally undergoing a democratic revolution. The revolution has been mostly peaceful. The revolution has significant implications to long-term US interests. And the revolution has been extremely rapid."

Right you are.

And I was made aware of that by all the coverage easily by the 2nd day of the 24/7 coverage of it.

I could easily track the progress at this point by a blurb on the crawler at the bottom of the screen.

It was news at first..but honestly, it doesn't affect my life very much..so, no need for it to be the only thing on the screen and in discussions on every US news channel all throughout the day.

Re: Interesting? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214238)

The revolution has been mostly peaceful.

I know you said "mostly", and maybe it is when compared to how many people were there and how long it lasted, but tell that to the almost 300 dead and 3000 injured. But I agree...completely news worthy, even to nerds.

Re: Interesting? (0)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212556)

yeah, because Mz Aguilera botching the US Nat'l Anthem or who won the Grammy's is waaaay more important that ongoing revolution.

seriously, when it's again time to vote in this country, please do us a favor and stay home watching American Idol.

Re: Interesting? (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213126)

"yeah, because Mz Aguilera botching the US Nat'l Anthem or who won the Grammy's is waaaay more important that ongoing revolution."

Not saying that...just that I "got it" after the 1st 24 hours of coverage.

Egypt's revolution, while good for it's people (if they can keep going towards democracy)...really has little effect on my life...so, why am I having to be inundated by constant live coverage. I'm sure there are domestic issues that do directly affect me that I'd be more interested being kept informed about. The current US budget fight for instance?

Re: Interesting? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214248)

You know they have this really cool thing now-a-days called "local news" You can usually find it on the television, in the newspaper or if you're REALLY lucky on a local news network's website.

Re: Interesting? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35212842)

You have to understand this from the perspective of the Obama administration. He's been rightly criticized for his inept and often contradictory foreign policy messages. His lapdogs in the news media are trying to give him every chance to get out in front of this story and look like he supported the Egyptians' freedom all along, even though it was barely 2 years ago that Obama took his apology tour to Cairo and praised Mubarak. The Egyptian people rightly see Obama as playing political calculus and backing whoever comes out on top of this, but CNN won't show you their "No You Can't" posters of Mubarak spoofing Obama's red white and blue Hope poster.

Re: Interesting? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213104)

I mean...sure it is important...mostly to people on that side of the world, but man..enough is enough. Gotta be something new that's newsworthy...

In coming decades, I think you're going to realize that the middle east power change happening now is one of the more significant things you've seen in your life. Sorry if you're bored by it, but it's been a long time coming.

Re: Interesting? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214938)

In coming decades, I think you're going to realize that the middle east power change happening now is one of the more significant things you've seen in your life.

How so? I mean, aside from possible energy issues...how else will it affect my life?

I mean..I don't give a fuck about all the arabs and jews over there. I don't care how they live or govern themselves or what god(s) they pray too. If it weren't for the oil over there, honestly I can't image the US would have fuck to do with them over there at all.

Re: Interesting? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215512)

How so? I mean, aside from possible energy issues...how else will it affect my life?

Are you under the assumption that, right now, what happens in the middle east does not affect your life? Do you realize that a very large portion of our military is currently deployed there? If military deployments don't affect you or your family at all, then consider yourself lucky. There have been any number of events that happened over the last 30 years in the middle east which directly affected people's lives here, and most are due to instability. That includes things like the Islamic revolution in Iran, wars with Israel, bombings, etc. If you think you are living in a vacuum, you're not. Believe it or not, but actions on one side of the globe do in fact have effects on the other side.

Re: Interesting? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35216002)

Frankly...if it wasn't for us needing oil over there...I'd be all for puling completely out, and letting them all blow themselves up. Wouldn't not bother me a bit...

The only reason I give a shit about the middle east, is that the US needs the oil over there.

Re: Interesting? (1)

compgenius3 (726265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212092)

it's interesting to see the large flow of interconnected retweets in just one hour

I think the visualization of a slashdotting is more interesting.

It looks like this: Network Error (tcp_error) A communication error occurred: "" The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time. For assistance, contact your network support team.

Re: Interesting? (1)

scotty.m (1881826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212242)

Funny how sites get smashed as soon as a link appears on /.

Re: Interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213384)

They should say they got slashdotted. Damn, that'd be funny.

Re: Interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214492)

We are back, hehe :)

OH EM GEE!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211268)

Oh Em Geeeeeeeeeeeee! More twitter spam!!

Question (3, Funny)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211284)

What is this visualization supposed to look like? I get the impression of of a fertilized egg growing several layers of cells, but I'm unsure that is the intended effect.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211516)

It's mathematical pornography... you won't understand..

slashdotted. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211562)

Looks like a 404 to me.

-Rick

Re:Question (1)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211714)

It isn't supposed to look like anything; it's a visual representation of some data, and any patterns are up to the viewer to see

Re:Question (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214262)

Looks like a breathing eyeball to me.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218744)

It's an interesting perspective on the twitter activity around the events in Egypt.

Here's another perspective on the visualization around #jan25: http://www.abbasalidina.com/egypts-army-has-ousted-mubarak-as-president-at-tahrirsquare/

AI (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211286)

It looks like some Artificial Intelligence from a SF movie.

Visualization of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211302)

the Slashdot effect.

Attached Video? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211336)

First of all this is a webpage, not an email. You don't "attach" things to a webpage.

Second, there's no video after the summary, just a big empty space. With all the anti-Flash comments we get on Slashdot, could we at least get standard HTML5 videos encoded in H.264 on this website? This is supposed to be "News for nerds", not "Adobe plug-ins brainwashing".

how useless twitter is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211352)

All this really shows me is that twitter is even more useless than I thought with this "retweeting" basically sending spam to all your followers

Re:how useless twitter is (3, Insightful)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213296)

sharing news of a democratic revolution is SPAM?

complaining because there's seeds in your orange juice is SPAM.

Twitter, just like the rest of the ENTIRE INTERNET, is only as good as you make it.

Neurons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211382)

This reminds me of a visualization of neurons firing. I find the time and physical scale seem proportionate. Interesting.

Look at it on Youtube instead... (4, Informative)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211522)

Re:Look at it on Youtube instead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213446)

I'm not quite sure what this tells us, except that spring-based layouts make everything look like a blowfish, and that whoever's at the tip of that spine at half past two on the clock face, the new government should either arrest her or make her minister of sport and youth [globalvoicesonline.org] .

Re:Look at it on Youtube instead... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214580)

It tells us rather more than that. You can see how the algo grinds to a halt because it only scales as O(n^2). Even with a smallish graph the updates just take too long towards the end.

Also, there was a missed opportunity to use colour to show the time relationship between tweets for example. Because the layout is constantly reconfigured, there's just no meaningful information shown in the video, other than a crude classification into unconnected tweets (in the middle) and connected tweets (on the periphery). And *that* would be better shown as a bar graph showing proportions of tweets of various types.

What does it mean? (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211638)

In order to convey useful information, the following would have been helpful:

  • A legend or other explanation of what the dots and links represent.
  • A running clock. Better yet, an animated timeline with critical events marked.
  • Some indication of the age of a 'link' (tweet?). I have no way of knowing whether a pair of dots linked together represents a single message and the individuals subsequently ceased communications or persistent messaging over a period of time.

That said, this may seem to be pretty pointless to the average Slashdotter. But I'm betting that sociologists and intelligence services are looking at ways to glean information from just such information graphs. Identify the retweet source nodes geographically and we could see if this was an organized 'astroturfing' or maybe send the secret police to those locations.

Re:What does it mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214054)

A legend or other explanation of what the dots and links represent.

From TFA

"Nodes are twitter users, and links appear between the nodes A and B when B retweeted a message of A containing the hashtag #jan25".

Re:What does it mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214080)

Nodes are twitter users, and links appear between the nodes A and B when B retweeted a message of A containing the hashtag #jan25.

The visualization was made "in a hurry", so sorry for the missing legend ;)

This is a screencast of the Gephi software.

Re:What does it mean? (1)

Zbor (1997102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215272)

Very interesting. What program did you use to create such graph?

so simple (2)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35211644)

It looks so simple... makes you wonder why more countries don't have Twitter revolutions /s

Internet Democratic Revolution (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212316)

Revolution... in the sense that Egypt has one of these mobs-in-the-street things every so often. What comes around comes around again.

Democratic... in the sense of replacing one dictator with the military rallied on by the power elite.

Internet... in the sense that the first job of any twit/facebooker is to sit on his ass and read about something, repeat it, then think he had something to do with it.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35212508)

Why is it Slashdot salivates over Twitter being used in these Revolutions but they look down upon Facebook?

Just kind of weird most of the action is going on Facebook

Re:hmmm (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214950)

Twitter is still "edgy," I guess. Facebook is for grandmas and high schoolers. Or something.

Some details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213568)

Hi,

Nodes are twitter users, and links appear between the nodes A and B when B retweeted a message of A containing the hashtag #jan25.

The visualization was made "in a hurry", so sorry for the missing legend ;)

Re:Some details (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213798)

I want to know what the mass of tweets in the upper right quadrant were regarding. It looked like it was the big bang in action!

Re:Some details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214582)

A retweet from Andy Carvin:
RT @acarvin Visualization: Mubarak's resignation spreads on Twitter.The knot towards upper right 1:35 into video is me.

Makes me think of.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213632)

A community of stick people got together to make some teeter totters and swing sets and then things just went horribly wrong.

Viral (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214562)

It almost looks like a (bad) bacterial contagen. Talk about going viral! Know that your data are being analysed by spook houses the world over. ..."How an insurrection or revolution occurs over social media 101"... I liked how at one point the data went slow-motion to better highlight the number of connections happening all at once.

"I've attached the video if you want to watch it" (1, Funny)

barakn (641218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215868)

How can one conditionally attach a file based on the relative receptivity of the recipient, especially with multiple, unknown recipients? I think it's an erroneous statement. It should read "I've attached the video whether you want to watch it or not."

Looks kinda cool, but not very interesting (2)

jsvendsen (1668031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35216988)

This seems entirely uninteresting. The only obvious conclusion you could draw from this data is that reaching a major milestone in a major social event triggers a major outburst of communications, which seems trivially obvious. For some interesting analysis on #jan25 tweets, see for instance this [bit.ly] , an attempt to visualize influence levels between twitter users. It is interesting to note that there are relatively few highly "influential" tweeters, many of whom were arrested or detained at some point during the protest. This could possibly indicate that the Egyptian authorities were conducting a similar analysis.

Re:Looks kinda cool, but not very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219076)

This seems entirely a "preliminary result" of a scientific study, as said. I guess it will come with a real analysis in the near future.

true religion jeans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35217688)

it involves Twitter!!! GOD!
true religion jeans [truereligionjeansw.com]

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