Fake News Week Interview: Ania Korsunska on Scientific Misinformation and the Structures That Spread It
By Gemma JoyceMar 22
Remember when we used to express our love with letters and roses and teddy bears and little heart-shaped chocolates?
We don’t do that any more.
The only way love can be truly expressed in 2019 is online and in the form of emoji.
I woke up today with a start. An idea, clear as day, flashed before my eyes. If love can only be expressed by emoji, and emoji use can be tracked using Brandwatch, then I can find the most loved people in the world.
I launched from my bed, threw on my cupid suit and ran towards my workplace. In a world of division, who truly bought people together? I just had to know.
My mind was racing, how was I going to do it? Was knowing the most loved person going to blow my mind?
I tried to steady myself, drunk on the prospect of my imminent discovery.
Into Brandwatch Analytics I typed the fateful words:
raw:❤️ AND site:twitter
The mentions began to flood in. There were so many. Too many. How was I going to control the data, to find the most common names?
“HOW?” I shouted. Luckily, my colleagues were not yet in the office to witness my fury.
Rage bubbled through my veins as I scrolled through the mentions. So many names. Such limited brain power to process them.
Then I realized. The new Brandwatch topic cloud – I could surface the most commonly used names in tweets that contained heart emojis.
Composed, ready, I navigated to the topics tab.
What I saw was a mess.
Emojis, random words, BTS – these weren’t the names I sought, the names I desparately needed.
This topic cloud needed pruning, so I went into the filter section. There it was, the only checkbox I needed.
I clicked. I closed my eyes. When I opened them 15 minutes later the holy names were revealed to me.
The top three names I was presented with were:
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
2. Jason Statham
1. Kevin Hart
At first I was joyous – I knew the truth! But then I clicked into the mentions, and I found out that these heart emoji’s tweets were almost all from the same sources.
Dwayne and Jason’s new movie, Hobbs and Shaw, invited tweeters to favorite their promotional tweet, using a heart emoji to communicate this. Meanwhile, a comedy video where Kevin Hart is surprised with a Chinese New Year celebration was retweeted over and over, cementing his association with the heart emoji in my rigorous study.
I wasn’t looking at the most loved people on Earth. I was looking at some Twitter mentions that had gained popularity.
The focus wasn’t love.
In order to view the true list, I would have to remove retweets and look at individual mentions of the heart emoji and the people who were being mentioned alongside it. I used the quick search box to remove them.
Again, I shut my eyes. I let my breathing relax, found some peace.
When I finally peeked through the slits in my fingers, the results surprised me.
It wasn’t a list of celebrities I looked at, it was just single names.
I knew the names of the most loved people, and here I was, connected to them through data – the strongest of bonds.
As my colleagues filtered in for their daily slog, I sat quietly knowing that I and I alone knew the truth.
What could I do with this knowledge? Sell a book of baby names, perhaps? Change my own name, even?
Instead, I came here, to the Brandwatch blog.
“The people must know,” I whispered, as I began to type. “This is my legacy.”
So what are the takeaways here?
*Unless you’re Meghan Markle in which case you will get quite a lot of hate.
Tune in tomorrow when I wake up and decide to find the most disliked dinosaurs. In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day.