UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Twitter and the #iamspartacus Trend Revisited

Posted by Brian Kelly on 22 May 2011

Last night I noticed some discussions about the #superinjunction incident on Twitter. I also spotted renewed use of the #iamspartacus tag – the tag which was described on the What the Trend Web site by this summary:

People are protesting at the upheld conviction of Tweeter, Paul Chambers, who bemoaned his local airport being closed for a week by jokingly saying he was going to blow it up. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/nov/12/iamspartacus-campaign-twitter-airport

A TwapperKeeper archive for the hashtag was created by Martin Hawksey on 12 November 2010 and currently has 2,478 tweets. We can view the Summarizr statistics for the hashtag. However since the hashtag is now being used in a different context it would be useful to see statistics for recent usage. Looking at the TwapperKeeper archive is seems that use of the hashtag in its current context began on 20 May 2011 possibly in a tweet posted by @delvestaxis:

If the injunction footballer is now thinking of suing twitter he could well set off a #iamsparticus trend? @salihughes

We can view the statistics for this hashtag since 20 May 2011 and discover that at the time of writing there have been 621 tweets from 421 Twitter users. We can also see the other hashtags which were included in these tweets: superinjunction (77), xxxx (61), suingtwitter (9), yyyy (7), imogenthomas (7), ctb (7), thatisall (6), streisandeffect (6) and iamsportacus (6) (where xxx and yyy refer to the footballer who was featured on the front page of the Scottish Herald today). There were several research papers about Twitter presented at the WWW 2010 conference, including a paper on #iranElection: quantifying online activism. (PDF format), one on From Obscurity to Prominence in Minutes: Political Speech and Real-Time Search (PDF format) and one on Earthquake Shakes Twitter Users: Real-time Event Detection by Social Sensors (PDF format). I wonder if next year’s conference will feature a paper on political activism and an earthquake in the UK legal system based on this weekend’s Twitter activities?

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