Social action on social media

Document type
Working Paper
Miller, Carl
Date of publication
1 May 2015
Nesta working paper; no.15/04
Community Development and Regeneration
Social welfare
Material type

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People try to help others in a wide number of ways; taken together this is social action - the heart of civil society, and the foundation of a healthy one. However, some social action is hard to spot. It may be unregistered, be carried out with little or no income, or have little formal governance. This paper examines a new way of detecting and measuring social action – especially that which takes place below the radar. It uses a new methodology developed by CASM to use social media to spot, collect and measure social action that normally is carried out below the radar. It uses natural language processing algorithms to analyse, and sort large quantities of Tweets related to two key events: the flooding of 2014, and the launch of the Step up to Serve Campaign.

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