Category Archives: Politics

Using Extremist Politics to Make Money on Twitter

I was searching for “Sessions” and “Russia” on twitter and found a series a similar posts published within minutes of one another as you can see below from the time stamps.

I then clicked on some of these and it turns out that not only these post are near identical, but that they have similar features: same posts, same links and same number of tweets (around 10.7k).

Crucially, if you click on the link viid.me…. it will take you to an advertisement. So it seems as though all these accounts are automated. They relay highly charged political news and bait people into clicking on those links to make advertising money.

Here is a video I recorded that summarises all of the above.

UK Election 2015 Party Manifesti Word Clouds

It is important that you read this article till the end for a list of caveats.

What do they really worry about?
You’ve got our word!

verba volant, scripta manent

What are the main parties in recent polls in England most worried about? One way to answer this question is to take at face value what it is that they have committed to in writing, in their official manifesti and using frequency analysis, to highlighted the most recurrent themes.

People-WORK!

Taking only the top three most frequent keywords the table below gives ammunition for those who think that all parties are the same. The words, “people” and “work” appear in all manifesti except for UKIP’s where “people” shares fourth place with “national” at 81 mentions each.

It is also no surprise that most parties, with the notable exception of the Conservatives, enjoy talking about themselves. Labour, LibDem and UKIP’s party names appear in the top three list. (Find all links to data and references below).

Top three words mentioned in the manifesti of the following parties.

Party Most frequent words Frequency
Conservatives People 158
Conservatives Work 137
Conservatives Support 131
Labour People 163
Labour Work 152
Labour Labour (the party) 145
LibDem Democrats, Liberal (the party) 177, 160
LibDem Work 170
LibDem People 167
UKIP UKIP (the party) 191
UKIP EU (The European Union) 158
UKIP Britain, British 125, 97

Education

While both the Conservatives and the LibDem mention “schools” only (101 times and 84 times respectively), Labour mentions both “education” 39 times and “schools” 39 times.

Party School and education mentions Total
Conservatives Schools, 101 101
LibDem Schools, 84 84
Labour Education, 39 + Schools, 39 78
UKIP Schools, 40 40

HEALTH

While both the Conservatives and the LibDem mention “schools” only (101 times and 84 times respectively), Labour mentions both “education” 39 times and “schools” 39 times.

Party Health-related mentions Total
LibDem Health, 98 + NHS, 55 153
UKIP Health, 42 + NHS, 42 84
Labour Health, 32 32
Conservatives No direct mention 0

national PLAY-OFFS

Among the two parties aspiring to nationalistic votes, the Conservatives mention “National” 96 times, “Britain” 94 times and “country” 85 times, whereas UKIP mention “Britain” 125 times, “British” 97 times and “UK” 89 times.

Total “nationalistic” mentions

Party Nationalistic mentions Total
UKIP Britain, 125 + British, 97 + UK, 89 311
Conservatives National 96 + Britain, 94 + British, 56 + UK, 49 295
LibDem UK, 96 + National, 82 + Britain, 57 235
Labour Britain, 58 + National, 49 107

It is important to understand the shortcomings of this approach. The number of mentions is only the beginning of your research as a voter. Frequency does not give any indication as to how this issue will be dealt with in terms of policy proposals.

“COS I’M THE TAXMAN”

For instance, all four manifesti mention the word “tax”.

Party “Tax” mentions Total
Conservatives 121 121
LibDem 88 88
UKIP 67 67
Labour 43 43

However, this simple table doesn’t tell the voter what each party intends to do about it, lower it, increase it, or keep it the same.

It is therefore essential to read all the documents for a more thorough understanding of what each party stands for.

Here are the links to each party’s manifesto, as well as the wordclouds in pdf format.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/manifesto-guide

Wordclouds:

LibDem WordCloud Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2015

UKIP WordCloud UKIP Manifesto 2015

Labour WordCloud Labour Party Manifesto 2015

Conservatives WordCloud ConservativeManifesto2015

*The methodology is as follows, the text of each manifesto was submitted to http://www.tagcrowd.com a website that provides frequency analysis.

Every Election is The Most Important One

The Most Important Election

Trieste Independence Demonstration

IMG_0396.JPG

IMG_0397.JPG

IMG_0400.JPG

IMG_0393.JPG

Infographic: Is the World Getting Better or Worse?

Members of the Republican Party…Divide!

If the Republican party were an individual it would be diagnosed as exhibiting “thought disorder”;

The symptoms can include false belief about self or others, paranoia, hearing or seeing non-existent things, disconnected speech or thinking, and feelings that don’t match the situation.[1]

This condition arises because the party is the result of a ménage-à-trois which turned into a marriage of convenience  between oligarchs (mostly composed of the mercantilistic old guard running and safeguarding the remnants of 19th century modes of production), orthodox capitalists (who profess economic liberalism and free markets) and social conservatives (now called Tea-Party in their perennial reincarnation). The first two have the money but not the numbers and the latter have the numbers but not the money. In a democracy, the oligarchs  bestow a relatively tiny fraction* of their capital in exchange for votes from the proletariat (whose increasing relative poverty is turning into absolutely poverty and therefore renders the transaction even cheaper).

*The investment is relatively small because the returns are calculated in hundreds of percent if not thousands. “The Economist”, not necessarily a communist mouthpiece, reports that every $1 spent in lobbying returns $220.

https://i1.wp.com/media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/290-width/images/print-edition/20111001_FNC708.gif

In this three-way arrangement, the capitalists are the odd ones. Their belief-system, in practice, runs against the interest of the other two bed-fellows and hence the symptoms described earlier. Radical ideas such as free-trade and a balanced-budget (a luxury item nowadays) are at odds with the status-quo to which the oligarchs and proletarians cling to.

the Effect of Capitalism on the Working Class

A belief in free-trade means that antiquated and suboptimal modes of production should not and cannot be protected. If goods and services of equal or better quality may be produced abroad and more cheaply, then nothing should prevent the purchase and free-flow of these goods and services. The consequence is that the workers in your home country will be out of a job, the very same ones that vote with you, the capitalists.

The oligarchs on the other hand, do want free-trade when and where they have an advantage, but desire, and obtain, strict safeguards from the state when they see that competition is too strong. In this case again, a partial solution is to dispense with workers.

Since capitalism and free trade should not be partial to this or that industry or interests, the capitalists of the Republican party are de facto in fundamental disagreement with the oligarchs.

THEIR MORALS AND OURS

Further damaging to those capitalists who fundamentally believe in  reducing the budget deficit, their party, on average has contributed to its rise rather than fall. In other words Democrat presidents reduced the deficit while Republican ones make it grow. Again, The Economist provides the analysis and data.

https://i0.wp.com/media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/2012/11/blogs/graphic-detail/20121103_woc372.png

MEANS OF PAYMENT

How have these three unlikely lovers been cohabiting till now? The working class, because of its religious beliefs, was easily compensated for physical hardship with a metamorphosis of commodities such as prayers in school, the repudiation of evolution and anything that is not by-the-book.

These hand-outs cost nothing to give, or promise to give, to the ruling classes. Promising to teach that the world was made in seven days and burning Beatles records have no immediate negative effect on GDP.

The only immediate adverse consequence is to the very people who burn these records because it quickly puts them at an economic disadvantage because they become unable to face a science-oriented competition… unless protected by the state. But this again is intolerable for capitalists.

DISCUSSIONS ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROGRAMME

The inconvenient truth about algebra, science and mathematics, is that they do not care for what humans wish to be true. Whether or not we think global warming is caused by humans, whether or not we hope that monkeys and humans share a common ancestor, whether we wish the oligarch won the presidency, the numbers will roll as a column of Soviet tanks in Budapest.

Thus, Karl Rove’s incantations on Fox News were a manifestation of thought disorder. What he wished were true did not match reality.

But humans and parties rarely admit to being crazy and holding contradictory beliefs. Thus, the outside world that is false, no matter what the numbers say!

It is therefore advisable that the capitalists secede from their party. Their utopian beliefs and values along with their scientific methods and goals are destructive when experienced from the oligarchs or workers standpoint. It is only through a superficial smokescreen that they held each other that long.

Divided, both new parties would be freer to be themselves, to speak a language uninhibited by fear of the “other” and attract voters who would now be able to vote with fewer reservations; whether they believe in free trade, the protection of  a feudal system or social conservatism.

US Election Prediction Contest

Using solely available social media data of the two presidential campaigns (Barack Obama and Mitt Romney), eg:

  • number of followers on twitter
  • number of youtube views
  • number of “likes” on facebook
  • etc…

find a formula that will forecast the popular vote (not the electoral votes).

Using only Facebook “likes” from the USA, a basic level formula could be:

Obama score = Obama facebook “likes” / (number of  Obama “likes” + Romney “likes”) * 100

= 560304/ (560304+206184)*100

= 560304/766488 *100 = 73,1%

Data from Wisdom Microstrategy app; screenshots below.

Enter your formula here (clicking will take you to a google form).

Only entries before the first exit polls will be accepted.

Resources:

Digital Campaigns May Decide the Election