How Did The Internet Water Army From China Amplify Messages Related to The Hong Kong Protests on Twitter?

Category: Best visualization (small and large newsrooms)

Country/area: Taiwan

Organisation: READr

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 16/09/2019

Credit: Producer: Chien Hsin-chan Journalist: Lee Yu Ju Data: Lee Yu Ju, Chien Hsin-chan, Kuan Hsien Wu Design:Chen Yi-Chian

Project description:

On August 19th 2019, Twitter announced the news of deleting the suspected Chinese Internet Army account. Twitter suspended 936″China-originated”accounts and said that these accounts have recently published a large number of disinformation related to Hong Kong’s protests. We analyze these deleted accounts try to understand what they have done in their past. Through data visualization, we also found the interaction and link these accounts.

Impact reached:

This report notonly the only one report in Taiwan, but also thefirst one to analysis the original data released from Twitter. Almost all the media only quoted fromTwitter’s press release, while ignoring the batch of data theyreleased. After further analysis, wefound more fun facts further thanTwitter claims to be.

Techniques/technologies used:

We use R to cleaning, analysis data. Using web crawlerto collect the information from other accounts who interacted with these deleted accounts. We also use Gephi to visualize the connections between these accounts. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

During operation, the maximum number of data reach millions. To visualize the huge amount of data, and uncover the meaning behind them is difficult, but very interesting. When almost all the media only quoted Twitter news release, we are the first media to analysis their data.

What can others learn from this project?

How to analyze data from a number of social networking sites quickly and find their interaction patterns and associated with each other, dig out the official press release did not say a thing.

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