Researchers across disciplines use Twitter geolocation tools to filter data for desired locations. These tools have largely been trained and tested on English tweets, often originating in the United States from almost a decade ago. Despite the importance of these tools for data curation, the impact of tweet language, country of origin, and creation date on tool performance remains largely unknown. We explore these issues with Carmen, a popular tool for Twitter geolocation. To support this study we introduce Carmen 2.0, a major update which includes the incorporation of GeoNames, a gazetteer that provides much broader coverage of locations. We evaluate using two new Twitter datasets, one for multilingual, multiyear geolocation evaluation, and another for usage trends over time. We found that language, country origin, and time does impact geolocation tool performance.
Study of Manifestation of Civil Unrest on Twitter
Abhinav Chinta | Jingyu Zhang | Alexandra DeLucia | Mark Dredze | Anna L. Buczak
Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2021)
Twitter is commonly used for civil unrest detection and forecasting tasks, but there is a lack of work in evaluating how civil unrest manifests on Twitter across countries and events. We present two in-depth case studies for two specific large-scale events, one in a country with high (English) Twitter usage (Johannesburg riots in South Africa) and one in a country with low Twitter usage (Burayu massacre protests in Ethiopia). We show that while there is event signal during the events, there is little signal leading up to the events. In addition to the case studies, we train Ngram-based models on a larger set of Twitter civil unrest data across time, events, and countries and use machine learning explainability tools (SHAP) to identify important features. The models were able to find words indicative of civil unrest that generalized across countries. The 42 countries span Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia and the events range occur between 2014 and 2019.