As many of you will already be aware, a week or so ago the Internet was rocked by protests of the controversial SOPA & PIPA bills; two proposed laws introduced into Congress, and ultimately voted down in their then current forms. Intended to provide additional legal tools to copyright holders and the government in combatting intellectual property theft, piracy, and counterfeiting, the bills were believed by many (including PeekYou) to be too broad and vague in their wording; carrying the potential to harm – or even get shut down – countless innocent, vital, and useful businesses, and to radically, for the worse, alter the Internet from how we know and enjoy it today. As a result, the bills met vocal opposition from many major websites (perhaps most notably Google and Wikipedia), and social media and the blogosphere were ablaze, across the Web, with folks clamoring to make known that in their views the bills as they were written should not pass.
PeekYou’s PeekAnalytics #StopSOPA Social Audience Report
While observing the above-referenced online protests and dialogue, the PeekAnalytics team decided to do what we do best and analyze the audience that tweeted the #StopSOPA hashtag on Twitter during that day. We tracked all tweets with the #StopSOPA tag tweeted over an 8 hour period on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, to take a more in-depth look at the audience behind those tweets. Below is a small sample of the various insights that the PeekAnalytics Social Audience Report platform provided us in response to our queries. We’ve highlighted a few of the most interesting insights that our technology was uniquely able to reveal about the audience sharing an interest in, if nothing else, tweeting of this proposed and hotly contested legislation.
Massive Volume, Interesting Substance
Over the course of the 8 hours we tracked approximately 398,000 tweets containing the #StopSOPA hashtag. Of the total who tweeted this specific tag, the unique audience number was comprised of 217,579 individual Twitter accounts; meaning, each account sharing this tracked content tweeted the #StopSOPA tag approximately twice each (some will have tweeted it more, and some only once, of course).
PeekAnalytics identified 63% of the unique users tweeting this tag as male. The audience sharing this hashtag scaled heavily in favor of accounts belonging to users ages 35 and under. This age breakdown is unsurprising, of course, given the already well-documented use of social media by younger users to communicate political messages and to attempt to enact change. More interesting, though, was the finding that only 53% of the tweets during that time period came from US-based accounts; confirming, as was reported widely, that many overseas users were troubled by the fact that a piece of proposed U.S. based legislation was worded in such a way that it could, in their views, potentially impact their own internet businesses and freedoms far outside of America’s borders.
Interests and Careers Highlights
The PeekAnalytics Social Audience Report provides, among its many insights, an analysis of users’ interests and shared affinities. Users who tweeted the #StopSOPA hashtag most noticeably shared interests in the arts, music, and sports. These interests trended higher against our baseline averages of the greater audience population throughout the Web. Given that art, music, and access to viewing sporting events is at the center of SOPA’s and PIPA’s appeal to protect copyright holders, it logically follows that the audience concerned most with continued access to such media, via channels such as YouTube, would speak up to protect and preserve that access.
We would bet that the folks over at Wikipedia would be happy to see that the industry most highly represented in our numbers was education. We here at PeekAnalytics, and we’d imagine most of you reading, may not be surprised to learn that the academic set was followed in communicating the #StopSOPA message, not far behind, by tweeters who work in technology.
This overview really only scratches the surface of what PeekAnalytics can tell its users of the posters of any type of shared content throughout Twitter, and the other social media platforms. Here, we’re highlighting some of the most apparently interesting insights, such as – with this example (so near to the heart of our industry) – nearly half the tweeters of this particular hashtag not even being within the U.S. In the coming days and weeks we’ll be posting more entries here exploring even further, and more in-depth and detail, the unique, and uniquely useful, capabilities of the PeekAnalytics tool. So, do check back in soon.
You can learn more about PeekAnalytics by clicking through here, or you can contact Matt Caiola @ MCaiola@5wpr.com