#nukes: Exploring the Social Media Landscape

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Different types of social media platforms cater to different stakeholders - and by extension, different parts of the policy process. By assessing multiple platforms, we are therefore able to contribute to different aspects of the policy landscape. This study will primarily focus on Twitter, YouTube, public Facebook pages, and blogs. The two primary outputs of this study are to show emergent links between topics across these different platforms, and to capture and model the dynamics of sentiment spread. By demonstrating a method to automatically extract and infer how different security issues are related, policymakers are able to make a more holistic judgment about policy options and risk assessments. By modeling sentiment spread, policymakers are better able to understand and capture the dynamics behind the diplomatic and soft power component of several current initiatives.

Snapshot of a Twitter retweet network of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists account during May 2014. Topics addressed via hashtags include, clockwise from the right, nuclear waste, sustainability, nuclear energy, India, and Pakistan.