Emory University Library has collected over ten million tweets from the Occupy Wall Street Movement, beginning on 13 October 2011. While tweets are public, they are not archived or available unless a third party collects them. With Emory’s collection, scholars can better understand the relationship between a movement and social media. In an age of digital information, the connection between physical events and the social media that documents them is important new research terrain.
The Emory Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) began thinking about what scholars could do with this material and had a variety of initial questions: how did geography play a role in the tweets’ distribution and subjects? How would current events be reflected and addressed by OWS tweets and those interested in OWS? How were different groups using the OWS hashtag? How were people networked with other protesters and critics?
To celebrate the anniversary of the Occupy movement, the DiSC graduate fellows created a visualization of a portion of our massive archive. We discuss how seeing time, place, and networks could provide audiences with different understandings of OWS. Read more about our process under Data Analysis.