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This article was published on October 29, 2020

Explore the Twitter interactions of US politicians with this social network tool

The live graph was designed to expose networks of influence ahead of the presidential election

Explore the Twitter interactions of US politicians with this social network tool
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW Writer at Neural by TNW

Mozilla and the SMAT (Social Media Analysis Toolkit) team have produced a free interactive network map showing the Twitter connections of US politicians.

The live graph depicts who the likes of President Trump and Joe Biden are interacting with in the build-up to the 2020 presidential election. It’s designed to expose the networks of influence that can adversely affect elections and offer insights into communities, sectarianism, and suspicious influences.

The tool’s creators selected the seed politicians from Twitter lists compiled by C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network). They then added the accounts to the graph as circular nodes.

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You can click on an individual node or search for a Twitter account to explore that user’s connections. Their interactions are divided between outbound activity showing the accounts they’ve mentioned and replied to, and inbound activity displaying the users who have replied to and mentioned them.

[Read: 4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly]

You can also share any interesting findings with each user and their connections via a direct link.

Credit: Mozilla
Biden most frequently interacts with his political allies and opponents, while Trump prefers exchanges with the media.

The graph’s developers gave an example of what it can unearth:

By diving more deeply into the Inbound Activity tab we can see suspicious activity such as one of the top Biden hate repliers is this account who replies to him thousands of times. There’s also a small account seemingly pretending to be a deceased (Canadian) pro athlete also responding to Trump thousands of times with a repeated script.

You can try the tool out for yourself at this link.


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