Social Media Analytics
|Supports Objectives(s)||Understand Conflict, Understand Audiences|
Description of Tool Class
Social media analysis tools provide insights into themes and drivers of conversation, influence networks, and locations of interest by enabling users to explore trends in big data gathered from Social Media content.
Social media analytics can help users to Understand Conflict by exploring issues discussed in social media platforms, including language used to discuss these issues, influential authors driving the conversation, and changes in conversation surrounding particular events. Social media analysis is relevant for exploring narratives surrounding violence and conflict and in environments where conversations on social media influence conflict dynamics. There are several different ways in which social media analysis can support peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts. Social media analysis can be used to understand how individuals and groups organized leading up to, during, and following the Arab Spring, and to assess how social media networks and behaviors impacted or was affected by the unfolding of events. Dangerous speech, or hate speech, in online media has been another area of interest and practice leveraging social media analysis to understand the effects of online posts persecuting groups and inciting violence in countries like Myanmar and South Sudan. Organizations like Cure Violence use social media analysis as an Early Warning tool to predict where urban violence is going to occur.
These tools can also help peacebuilders to Understand Audiences for their own peacebuilding work. Tools like Mentionmapp, Crimson Hexagon, and Zoomph allow users to understand the profile of their audiences, including their demographic information, who they follow, what they care about, and what language might resonate with them.
Social media analysis tools come in a variety of forms. Some tools, like Zoomph, Crimson Hexagon and NodeXL, are able to analyze multiple types of Social Media content sources, whereas others such as Mentionmapp focus on a single service like Twitter. Many show relationships - conversations and "follows" between various users - whereas others perform sentiment and opinion analysis, exploring trends and drivers of conversation over time. Geofeedia provide a primarily location-oriented approach to analyze Social Media, allowing user to select an area of interest on a map and pull social media content from a specific location. Each tool has its own focus, approach, and capabilities that users can use to determine whether it suits their needs.