I heard about Loughborough’s development of a ‘Twitter reader’ on the radio yesterday, and more in this BBC report:

The team, from the university’s new Centre for Information Management, say the system can extract a direct expression of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion from each tweet.

The academics said that using the Emotive software to geographically evaluate any mass mood could help police to track potential criminal behaviour or threats to public safety.

I was rather fascinated by the fact that this is announced ‘new’, as at the British Library’s propaganda exhibition there was a wall demonstrating changing emotions (as read through tweets) at the Olympics. Maybe this system is more sophisticated?

Image from the Emotive Website

My other thought about this development is that it’s interesting that it’s still drawing upon the idea that social media ’caused’ the riots, whereas much research since has shown that the tweets were more of a reaction to it, and indeed, helped with the clear up!

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