The use of social networks as a platform for political campaigning soared during Indonesia’s presidential election.
Now, amid ongoing uncertainty about the reliability of some opinion polls — which both candidates used to claim victory — private companies are forecasting voting outcomes based simply on positive mentions of a candidate on Facebook and Twitter.
Cherishing their independence from traditional forms of polling, many have been criticised for perceived bias.
Groups like PoliticaWave in Jakarta rely on algorithms, live updates and instant sentiment results on anything from a speech to a smear campaign, to which candidates can respond in real time.
… Jennifer Yang Hui, Associate Research Fellow (Centre of Excellence for National Security) at Nanyang Technological University, said: “It’s a very raw form of data that comes out in real time and lesser on real analysis…and the question of understanding what they convey is still difficult, it’s mired in a lot of issues, such as, for example, sarcasm, which the algorithm might detect as something positive when you’re actually saying something quite the opposite.”
Last updated on 17/07/2014