Review 2016: One Year of Climate Change Debates on Twitter

Our Online Media Monitor has been collecting tweets for roughly a year now – time for a little retrospection.

The tool provides ongoing monitoring of the transnational online media debate on climate change by searching for related tweets. Tweets are collected if they contain the following hashtags or key words: #climatechange OR “climate change” OR “global warming” OR “Klimawandel”. Additional criteria are that the tweets got at least 5 retweets and contain at least one link.

OMM Twitter 2016 - frequency

In 2016, we see a slight increase in the general Twitter activity related to climate change – but, even more interesting, also some prominent spikes in the debate. We did some research to find out about which issues the climate change debate revolved on the relevant dates. Four of the five events that sparked the most activity took place in the last quarter of 2016 and had to do with Donald Trump.

OMM Twitter 2016 - users

Among the five most active Twitter users in the climate change debate are three non-profit organizations and two private users (from Australia and the US).

OMM Twitter 2016 - tweet

The most retweeted tweet was sent by BuzzFeed News, following the first US Presidential election debate. When Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of denying the existence of climate change and he rejected the statement, BuzzFeed cited Trump’s original tweet.

 

 

To sum up, 2016 was the year when the climate change debate got increasingly connected to the new US President Donald Trump. By now, his name also ranks highly in Google’s search suggestions related to climate change.

Trump climate change GoogleIf and how the discussion will also center on Trump in 2017 is still to be seen – the OMM will monitor the debate as attentively as before.

First part of the Online Media Monitor online!

We are proud to announce the release of the first part of our monitor:
a tool which counts all tweets related to climate change on a daily base, lists the domains most linked to in context with climate change, and shows yesterday’s most retweeted climate change tweet.
number of tweets related to climate change per day (April 2016)
The number of tweets related to climate change per day (April 2016)
Check out the tool here.

The Online Media Monitor will be composed of different modules. We are still working on the other modules, especially the tool for analyzing online news media.

Monitoring the Daily Climate Debate Online – Mid-term report

Since the official start of our CliSAP idea contest project in April, the CRG ‘Media Constructions of Climate Change’ has reached many important interim goals. A sample of online news media was assembled, currently covering 23 countries worldwide. It includes well-known media outlets like the American and international edition of the New York Times (USA), but also titles such as Jakarta Globe (Indonesia), Excelsior (Mexico) or Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) – in total there are currently 42 media outlets included. Important criteria for the selection of the media were (1) the coverage, (2) the daily publication and (3) the national / supra-regional importance of reporting. The media sample is supplemented by an analysis of the climate discourses on Twitter.

Since July, ICDC has started the technical implementation of the tools. The online media monitor (OMM) is supposed to automatically store, analyze, aggregate, and visualize data obtained from global climate media reports, with results visible and usable for everyone. For this purpose, a program is currently being developed that extracts articles based on RSS feeds and exports them to a database. Afterwards, the implementation and visualization of the data analysis will be carried out. In the last phase of the project, automated content analysis functionality will be added to the tools in order to detect, for example, subjects or actors (such as countries, organizations, or particular scientists), and to visualize their activities.

CliSAP researchers at CEN shall be provided with the opportunity for further analysis of the data from the media monitor.