Whilst I was following the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine, I decided to analyse Twitter messages to see what I could uncover about countries. I started by investigating the association of the words love and hate with each country.
I used statistics collected on 25/07/2014 for the past 30 days by topsy.com. For each country I obtained the count of messages with the word love and the country’s name, and the count of messages with the word hate and the country’s name.
Of the 60 countries I looked at, Israel came bottom in love-to-hate ratio. For each twitter message with the words Israel and hate, there were only 1.29 messages with the words Israel and love. Palestine came 5th from bottom with a ratio of 2.58.
Other conflict zones such as Iraq was 57th, Afghanistan 46th, Syria 45th. Iran which was 55th, North Korea which was 58th, and Pakistan which was 41st could also be included in this group where all countries are in the bottom third.
Top three were Venezuela, Indonesia and Poland. For each twitter message with the words Venezuela and hate, there were 154.54 messages with the words Venezuela and love. There didn’t seem to be any special reason for these results though I can’t say this with certainty.
There were some big surprises too. Netherlands was second from bottom with a love-to-hate ratio of 1.40, and Germany had 3.21. However, this seemed to be mainly caused by the results of the World Cup.
The Dutch goalkeeper Krul’s attitude towards Costa Rican players during the penalty shoot-out, as well as Robben accused of cheating contributed to this. The hate towards Germany was most likely due to them being the winners.
The Scandinavian countries were in or near the top half. Norway was 9th with a ratio of 33.39, Sweden was 16th, Denmark 17th and Finland 31st.
Whilst South Africa was 20th, the other sub-Saharan countries were in the bottom quarter. Nigeria was 50th, Ghana 51st and Kenya 53rd.
England did not fare well either, coming 49th. Scotland was 42nd, Wales 40th, whilst Ireland was 23rd (it was not possible to separate out Northern and Southern Ireland).
Of my favourite countries, Japan was 8th, Taiwan 4th, Romania 6th.
One shortcoming was that I haven’t yet found an easy way of analysing messages more than 30 days old. Therefore with the exception of North Korea I have left out countries with less than 1000 messages — such as Libya, Armenia, Ethiopia.