technology

How a small number of SNP supporters generate a large volume of noise in social media

Interesting analysis by Adam Parker, showing how a relatively small number of SNP Twitter accounts manage to have a disproportionate impact on online discussion, especially by looking out for supportive messages from small Twitter accounts which are then heavily retweeted:

One of the first major examples of social media analysis that received widespread coverage was in relation to the seven way #leadersdebate…

We can see that one in four tweets were generated by only 803 journalists, media, celebrities or other commentators [by either them tweeting directly or others retweeting them]…

The SNP’s performance is particularly impressive with only 801 [SNP supporting] accounts generating almost 5 per cent of the whole conversation.

So how do they do this? Well here are some examples of how the SNP community amplifies positive remarks made by (I think) non affiliated Twitter users.

[These] are all tweets by users with less than 40 followers, who rarely get more than the odd retweet, but who in these cases got 50 or more out the blue.   Can you guess why?

What you find when you look at the retweets in each case is that many are coming from accounts that would appear to have a SNP affiliation… at least some members of the SNP community were looking out for positive tweets about their party or their leader, and then amplifying them.