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How Twitter can help predict an election

From The Washington Post:

Digital democracy is here. We no longer passively watch our leaders on television and register our opinions on Election Day. Modern politics happens when somebody comments on Twitter or links to a campaign through Facebook. In our hyper-networked world, anyone can say anything, and it can be read by millions.

This new world will undermine the polling industry. For nearly a century, conventional wisdom has argued that we can only truly know what the public thinks about an issue if we survey a random sample of adults. An entire industry is built on this view. Nearly every serious political campaign in the United States spends thousands, even millions, of dollars hiring campaign consultants who conduct these polls and interpret the results.

Digital democracy will put these campaign professionals out of work. New research in computer science, sociology and political science shows that data extracted from social media platforms yield accurate measurements of public opinion. It turns out that what people say on Twitter or Facebook is a very good indicator of how they will vote.

Read the rest at The Washington Post.

Posted on September 5, 2013 in
twitter.