Analyzing tweets from experts vs politicians on the Coronavirus

Facts and alternate facts on the Coronavirus flood Twitter.

3 mins read

Fortunately there’s software to tell the difference, identify experts, keywords and public sentiment. We analyzed over 450,000 tweets  from March 1-4 with the hastag #covid19 using Nexalogy.

The software automatically digests and analyzes the Twitter feed for #covid19 to determine:

  • Timeline: how the volume of tweets is fluctuating over time
  • Influencers: who is tweeting the most, what are they saying, who has the most followers
  • Clusters: how are the tweeters connected? Is the conversation being manipulated?
  • Keywords: what are the hashtags and words most widely used on this topic
  • Sentiment: how do people feel about this issue by analyzing the words used in their tweets
  • Propaganda: what tweets are most likely to be misinformation

Analyzing the Twitter feed

It’s humanly impossible to analyze a flood of tweets. Software lets you analyze tweets about your topic of interest in real-time , find key influencers and monitor public sentiment.

Tweets with the hashtag #covid19 are ingested and analyzed for time, author, keywords and more.
The most common hashtags and keywords on the topic are identified. Individual tweets are reviewed in a side panel, flagged and saved for further analysis.
Clusters of themes in tweets are identified and organized based on how frequently they are mentioned. This helps identify what and whom to pay attention to.


Twitter is ripe with disinformation. Nexalogy has a filter which identifies likely propaganda. Here are two interesting tweets from RT ‘helpfully’ suggesting that the U.S. primaries be cancelled. The software also identifies who is retweeting their messages. One tweeter is conveniently is named ‘Your Name Here’ making it easier for others to amplify it.

RT provides alternative perspectives on current affairs, and acquaints international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events.”

Useful insights

  1. Public sentiment is continuously reported by analyzing the words used in tweets.
  2. A heat map of where the tweets are originating from.
  3. Tweets flagged for special attention.


Don’t be distracted by ‘alternate facts’. Identify the experts and focus on what they have to say. Let us know of other topics of public interest worth analyzing.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

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Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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