The Black First Land First (BLF) enigma

I’m currently looking at a Twitter dataset around the Public Protector. It’s so weird how Andile Mngxitama’s Black First  Land First (BLF) party and the Gupta media entities, ANN7 and The New Age, are always so closely tied together on Twitter (here’s a previous example that I posted about). They seem to …

#FeesMustFall 2016: The first 3 weeks

As the 2016 fight for free education enters its fourth week, let’s take a look back at what the data has to say about the protests on Twitter. Let’s start off by reminding ourselves of the main communities involved (see my earlier post here summarising the initial communities forming). As I …

#FeesMustFall 2016 initial look

Here’s an initial look at about a week’s worth of #FeesMustFall data covering 217k tweets. The discussion has two main halves: “mainstream” and “students and activists“, with the media sitting right between them. It’s interesting to see several distinct student/activist communities forming in this dataset. There is a clear Cape …

Black households edge ahead in monthly spending

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Our Gini co-efficient, which summarises the disparity between those with the least and most income, is one of the highest in the world (only Lesotho’s is higher according to the CIA Factbook). We can blame this inequality on the systemic structures …

SABC “capture” on Twitter

In this post, I examine a dataset around the alleged “capture” of our state-run television broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC), by individuals loyal to President Jacob Zuma. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, COO of the SABC (note that he’s not its CEO), has been accused of censoring the news (for example by placing …

Twitter’s response to #OccupyLuthuliHouse

The #OccupyLuthuliHouse protests this past week were perhaps the most visible manifestation yet of the split within the ANC between President Jacob Zuma’s powerbase and those who believe that he is steering the party (and the country) in the wrong direction. I started collecting tweets on the day of the …

Hair, language, school policies and race

I started collecting tweets that mentioned the controversy around Pretoria Girls High’s hair policy (based on terms like “#StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh”, “hair AND racism”, etc.) a few days ago. I was a bit behind the curve, only picking up on it on the second day of action but still managed to collect 36,460 tweets from 30,175 different …

Black First, Land First and #PravinMustGo

Andile Mngxitama and his “Black First, Land First” party really intrigue me. I can’t work out where they are coming from. First he joins as a senior member of the EFF but is kicked out. He then pops up as a talking head on Gupta-owned news station, ANN7. He/they espouse perhaps the …

SABC capture discussion volumes on Twitter

It’s bittersweet to see that the capture of the SABC has been generating sustained conversation on Twitter. People aren’t letting this one go. 130k tweets since the 28th of June which is pretty large for a South African dataset and still going strong 🙂 / 🙁 [PLEASE NOTE: I originally posted …

South Africa politics’ ideological continuum

I’ve been collecting tweets around political events since the beginning of the year. I threw them all together into a single dataset recently (I originally posted this on the 18th July 2016). Here’s a summary of the main communities identified when it comes to SA politics. This covers about 1.5m …