Singapore General Election 2015 Social Media Dashboard

Singapore General Election 2015 Social Media Dashboard

Organisation: The Straits Times (Singapore)

Publication Date: 04/08/2016

Applicant(s)

Size of team/newsroom:large

Description

Social media plays an increasingly important role when covering an election but the big picture can sometimes be overshadowed by a trending tweet or viral post. One of the most contentious issues that came out of the #GE2015 was how social media got it wrong – most social media listeners reported a rise in support for opposition parties they thought would translate into votes. In the end, the results proved to be a landslide victory for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) who gained back the support they lost in the last election and more. If they were watching this dashboard, social media listeners might have seen it coming. The first chart uses real-time visualisations of Twitter mentions to fill up the column chart. We defined certain mentions to be applicable to a party and then each time there was a mention, the tweet would visually turn into a bubble and fall into its corresponding party column. For most of the campaigning period, which ran from Sept 1 to 10, the largest opposition party, Workers’ Party (WP), were in the lead. There was a clear turning point when Singapore’s prime minister and leader of the PAP, Lee Hsien Loong, spoke during a lunchtime rally in the CBD on Tuesday, Sept 8. Our chart showed the PAP in the lead and gaining ground for the rest of the election campaign after his speech. The second chart is to show the volume of tweets over the election campaign with the election hashtag #GE2015. We then pulled in a feed of Instagram photos tagged with #GE2015 for a visual overview of what people were posting online.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This was the first time The Straits Times built a customised real-time to track social media responses for a national event.

Technologies used for this project:

This is a custom built website and is fully responsive using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It uses the Twitter API for real-time mentions and uses a JavaScript library called VisualSedimentation.js (Learn more about it here http://www.visualsedimentation.org/) as the basis for the real-time chart.

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