Can social data be used to predict elections?

I’ve just started a new research blog with my colleague Taha Yasseri. Two aims: we want to know if and when social data might be useful in election prediction; we want to see if this knowledge teaches us anything about the political process. It’s also interesting to experiment with the idea of blogging research rather than going the usual journal route (though I imagine a paper or two will result anyway). Much quicker, rougher, but definitely satisfies my urge to do things quickly. We hope it will make the finished output better as well.

all-wikipedia-euelections article-2

The above image is an excerpt from the first post, on electoral information seeking in 19 different countries. We find that, essentially, people look for information much more after the election has already finished than before, probably in response to the election itself as a media event.

I’ll be cross posting a bit more as the blog develops.

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