Since the early ages of communication, people have had their eyes glued to their TV’s on the day of any presidential election. With social media coming to the front of a potentially world-changing presidential election that pins Barack Obama against Mitt Romney, it’s not a surprise that trending tools would come out to see how the public, both voters and non-voters, are reacting to the actions of both presidential nominees. The Twitter Twindex, located at election.twitter.com, is a fresh look at how the social media channel Twitter and its users are viewing each of the candidates.
The system, in simple terms, reviews the posts of each candidate, and whether the view of them is positive or negative. According to Twitter, more than 400 million tweets are posted in regards to the presidential election every single day, and the Twitter Twindex sorts them into a simple measurement based off of the sentiments of each tweet.
Being that not all Twitter users are of age to vote, and several aren’t even registered to do so, this should definitely not be looked at as an answer to who may actually be winning the election. Additionally, trending topics both positive and negative will offset the numbers depending on how many times they are retweeted. There is no doubt, however, that each candidate will take a serious look at these numbers as the site has already gone viral.
The Twitter Twindex, or Twitter Political Index shows the current score for each candidate, as well as the change for each from the previous day. Given the complexity of the system and the number of tweets that the Twindex needs to sort through on a daily basis, the system is only updated once per day. The site is actually run by the Twitter Government and Politics team, which tracks effective uses of Twitter for engaging the public, as well as monitoring how public endorsements change the social media view of each presidential candidate preceding the upcoming election.
Whether the Twitter Twindex could actually sway the popularity portion of voters out there shouldn’t be ruled out. But we also think that the system doesn’t properly adjust to users who are old enough to voter, or users who are registered to vote. Additionally, we could see massive amounts of trends to just to attempt to get the system to change its numbers, which would further create a little bit of confusion. In the meantime, we’d love to sit back and watch how this goes through election day.