, 24 tweets, 13 min read
I am reposting my thread verbatim on Trudeau hashtags as Twitter censored the last one. This is mostly a point of principle! [Thread] 1/ In the following analysis, you will see pro-Trump accounts still dominating anti-Trudeau hashtags #cdnpoli
2/ Firstly I compiled samples from the beginning, middle an end of September, and also the 13th of October. These samples were mostly of the #TrudeauMustGo hashtag, as it seems to be the most enduring, and existed before Trudeau's blackface debacle. The sample totalled around
3/The total sample included over 100,000 tweets, retweets, mentions and replies. Once I removed duplicates, these were produced by around 12,000 unique accounts. That's actually not that many. It would suggest that much of the #TrudeauMustGo discourse is produced by a relatively
4/small number of accounts. Then I compiled the biographical data of all these 12,000 accounts and the results were pretty disturbing, if not unsurprising at this point. The most commonly occurring word in the bios of those accounts tweeting the past month on the #TrudeauMustGo
5/ is - no prizes for guessing - MAGA - Make America Great Again. Indeed, MAGA appeared around 1200 times, approximately in 10% of all accounts in the sample - 12% when we don't count accounts with no biographical data. That's a huge chunk! And there's more #cdnpoli #cdnelxn2019
6/ Indeed, if we aggregate all those biographies that contain pro-Trump content (not just MAGA but other right-wing keywords such as 'KAG', 'Trump', 'Qanon' etc) then the number climbs to 2000, around one fifth of all accounts. Network analysis reveals more #cdnpoli #cdnelxn2019
7/ But before that, we can do some topic modelling on the biographies. (Put simply, topic modelling allows you to examine large amounts of text to reveal 'hidden' thematic structures). As you can see, the topic modeler has picked up a strong US right-wing theme... #cdnpoli
8/ As is common with these accounts, conservativism, love, trump, God and patriotism all feature heavily. If these people are all real (which I really doubt), then at least one fifth of them lack sufficient individual identity and keep coming up with similar generic biographies
9/ The network analysis gives us a few more creepy details. Below is an analysis of #TrudeauMustGo taken from today and yesterday -a round 30,000 tweets. The colours represent distinct communities. At the top of the image you'll see a big lime green community #cdnpoli
10/ the green community are largely #MCGA (make canada great again) accounts with a smattering of MAGA. Their node size is big in this graph because they are the ones using the hashtag the most (i.e. tweeting the most). #cdnelxn2019 #cdnpoli
11/ I recoloured the edges between the nodes to show that this lime green MCGA community tend to mention other accounts (orange lines), while the vast majority (light blue) just retweet other accounts. This means that this community is behaviorally distinct from the majority
12/ Whether or not that means is anything is unclear, but frequently on these hashtags there tends to be a small group of accounts that reply to each other in a dense pattern of mentions. However the green community aren't the most interesting to me.... #cdnelxn2019 #cdnpoli
13/ If we go back to the earlier network graph, you may have noticed that pink/red swirling mass at the bottom of the graph. It's a substantial community. Who are they? Well if we zoom in a little closer and describe nodes by biography we can get a sense of them...
14/ Unsurprisingly, it is a community of #MAGA and pro-Trump accounts. Self described deplorables, KAGs and the occasional #Brexiteer. So what are they doing here, well it would seem they are largely retweeting our large friend in the middle @evenings_starNow it gets weirder...
15/ I went to check
's account but I found out they 'sara spencer' had blocked me. I mean I am no stranger to being blocked, but it's usually by people I have at least interacted with. I do not recall ever interacting with Sara 🤔🤔 #cdnpoli #cdnelxn2019
16/ Curious, I went to the
to have a look. Nothing particularly interesting, just the usual pro-Brexit, pro=Trump, anti-Trudeau global right wing account with anonymous images and a bunch of white people flags. Also a lot of tweets. At the current count, Sara
17/ has around 81,000 tweets. In the trade that's known as 'loads'. Curious, I decided to see if the rest of those in her little community were equally vocal. And sweet lord were my suspicions correct. As you can see, the pinkish/red community in at the bottom have a high
18/ proportion of large nodes. This is because I resized all nodes according to how many tweets each account has posted in its history. This basically means that community of right wing accounts are EXTREMELY active tweeters. I.e. very likely to be political spam accounts
19/ Another extremely historically vocal community is the orange group at the top. If we zoom in you can also see that these are #MAGA - pro-Trump, deplorable accounts. Now we can deduce a number of things from this, with varying levels of certainty... #cdnpoli #cdnmedia
20/ Firstly, we can clearly see that pro-Trump right wing accounts are active on the #TrudeaMustGo hashtag. Secondly, we can also say with certainty that these accounts are generally very outgoing - they tweet a hell of a lot. So basically there are a lot of them. If we analyse
21/ all pro-Trump accounts in the sample, and look at their historical tweeting patterns versus those non-overtly MAGA accounts, we see that they account for 50% of all tweets. Bear in mind they constitute around 20% of those in the sample, so they are disproportionately vocal...
22/What is up to you to decide is whether pro-Trump accounts are just more likely to be weirdly passionate about Canadian politics, and erm Brexit, perhaps more so than Canadian conservatives. I do not think that is the most likely explanation. Given everything I have
23/ seen I would say with a lot of confidence that this is just part of the long running right-wing, pro-Trump influence campaign active on issues as diverse as Iran, Brexit and climate change denial. Funny thing is, Twitter Canada say there is no evidence of manipulation...
24/ You can read more about that here, from the excellent
@nlynnbogart election.ctvnews.ca/truth-tracker-… . Anyway, hope you enjoyed the thread, enjoy the disinfo Canadians, mine's a double double! #cdnelxn2019 #cdnpoli
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