Elon Musk is right when he says Twitter usage is at its highest, but new analytics reveal soaring negativity against the platform.
According to media intelligence and data analytics company Meltwater, negative sentiment towards Musk’s ownership of Twitter began in late April when the offer of a takeover was first made.
Using Twitter’s data, Meltwater reported a significant spike of almost 1.5 million ‘negative posts’ around the time Musk confirmed he wanted to buy the platform while reporting just 400,000 positive posts in the same period.
The trend returned again in late October when the $66 billion takeover came to fruition – and the negative sentiment wasn’t restricted to Twitter posts.
“Across socials, the swing to negative sentiment is significant from the week of October 25, which marked Elon’s takeover,” a spokeswoman from Meltwater said.
“Just looking at Twitter data, there are similar spikes in negative sentiment around the same period with a total of 42.9 million negative posts.”
Between October 22 and now, the data shows a general spike in posts.
In that period, negative posts spiked at almost 1.25 million per day, while positive posts barely cracked 500,000 per day just once. Neutral posts spiked to nearly 2.1 million in the same time frame.
According to the Meltwater spokeswoman, negative sentiment trends spiked during crucial events of the Musk Twitter takeover, including during mass firings and resignations, the reintroduction of controversial accounts like Donald Trump and Kanye West, and pushes towards Musk’s $US8 verification plan.
“As for how the reputation and sentiment is tracking with further resignations over the weekend, it seems interest in Twitter has been trending down on social since the spike on November 18,” she said.
“However negative sentiment continues to build (up 4 per cent week on week) in relation to the reinstatement of Donald Trump and Kanye to Twitter, as well as the continued lay-offs and uncertainty around the future of the app.”
Meltwater uses natural language processing to track sentiment, which determines whether the language in a social post is more positive or negative.
“Sentiment analysis analyses a body of text to determine the opinion expressed by it,” the spokeswoman said.
“The opinion is then labelled either more Positive or more Negative, which is called Polarity. “The overall sentiment is then determined to be either Positive, Negative, or Neutral, based on the total polarity score.
“If something is both positive and negative, but more positive, the polarity score would rank it as positive.”
While the sentiment is negative, whether or not that bothers the world’s richest man is another thing.
Musk confirmed on Tuesday the platform has added 1.6 million daily users in the last week.
“This will improve a lot as Twitter becomes fast to use outside of North America, Western Europe and Japan,” he said.
Since the takeover, Musk has made an unashamed point of firing shots at those speaking ill of him and his policies.
“Wasn’t Twitter supposed to die by now or something?” Musk jokingly asked on Twitter on Wednesday.
Originally published as Data shows how the world feels about Musk’s Twitter takeover
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