Twitter, Google and the Associated Press are coming together to visualize all the online chatter on the elections. A tool named AP Election Buzz was launched Tuesday, showing what users are searching for and saying about the 2016 presidential race.
Tracking the public’s perception
This new tool launched by the Associated Press aims to show how Google search interest and Twitter discussions about presidential candidates and election issues change over time. The data tracking on Twitter is based on an algorithm which measures the number of tweets related to the candidates and election issues, according to AP. The data can be viewed in a chart-form or via a map with filters of past 24 hours, past week or past month.
Using the tool, one can search the news since Aug. 1 to check how public interest in the elections changes by major events like debates, caucuses, and endorsements. The tool will be helpful in checking the events that are shifting the public’s attention and influencing them.
Social media like Twitter relevant for election news
Though media has a huge impact on voters, most of the time, it’s social media which brings news about elections 24/7. However, social media has never really given us the true results. Take the Iowa Caucus, for example.
As you might expect, Donald Trump is still the top search on Google and the most talked-about candidate on Twitter. While this online activity can be used to get information on the elections, it should by no means be construed as a poll. Facebook reported that 42.2% of caucus conversation was about Bernie Sanders, while just 12.4% was about Hillary Clinton. Eventually, the race ended in a narrow victory for Clinton. Twitter though was right in its predictions of Iowa.
Even the Election Buzz tool reflects that there can be inconsistencies in what people are searching on Google and what they’re discussing on Twitter. In the last 24 hours, the most-searched election issue was health care, while on Twitter, energy and the environment were the most tweeted-about. The online activity may not predict who will win or lose the presidential elections, but it does highlight the types of issues concerning Americans