Post 6: Scrapping the web for data #LGBT

Kathy Ngo

Nowadays, social media has become a vital role of Internet where people can read information and also can give back their thoughts more open and easier than doing so in real life. Therefore social media, especially Twitter is such a rich data resource for me to understand people’s reactions/opinions towards any topics related to LGBTIQ rights.

Why Twitter?

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service. What makes Twitter different from other social medias is that its feature – Tweet-only allows users to write less than 140 characters. This means their tweets will be limited and more specific.

Twitter features:

  • Tweet: It is a similar to Facebook status but no longer than 140 characters. This is the main source of data that I am going to scrap from. Tweets create the life for Twitter.
  • Timelines: A collection of tweets in chronological order. Timelines in Twitter is like a personal news feed from different people you follow.
  • Following and Followers: Basically it is similar to ‘Friends’ or ‘Subscribe’ feature in Facebook. It allows you to see their tweets on your timeline.
  • Conversation: Although Twitter has Direct Messages feature, people don’t use it often and refer to spam.
  • ReTweets (RT): This feature allows users to share someone else’s tweet and all your followers will see it as if they were following the original author.
  • #hashtag: This is one of the best features in Twitter. Hashtags let you categorise your tweet. For scrapping the Twitter for data exercise, #hashtag is such a useful feature to get the right information and topics.
Scrapping Twitter

Keywords used: LGBT rights, Same-sex marriage, Safe schools

Result: 1987 tweets


The tweet from Naomi Campbell has most retweets with 317 times. Naomi Campbell is a celebrity which might have a greater influence to the crowd. Her tweet was about the LGBT Pride in Jamaica and the work they have done to advance human rights and equality.

It is very interesting to know that Jamaicans activists are doing a great job in supporting LGBTIQ rights.

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317 retweets – From Naomi Campbell
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225 retweets – From Michael Manges
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146 retweets – From Team Mag (A magazine for gay Filipino men)

This tweet actually surprised me because of the fact that Flippin was very heavy on Catholic/religion values. It has been very extremely difficult to raise the voice to support LGBT rights. This tweet from Team Mag was retweeted constantly in 4 days with a total of 146 times. It shows that lots of people concern with this news and it would be a positive step to change the old-school Filipino norms.


Gay Rights are Human Rights” -HillaryClinton
You don’t have to be gay to support gay rights -John Sinopoli
In memory of “Neither women’s rights nor rights are side issues.” My piece today in  -Elif Shafak

I also noticed that lots of tweets were related to Hillary Clinton such as her statement “Gay Rights are Human Rights”, or Donald Trump with the news “Eric Praises His Father’s Rights Record as ‘Revolutionary'” By ” from the Advocate Mag (A magazine for LGBT). Most people’s reaction to Trump was very negative and Hillary’s slightly better. But it also shows that these 2 potential American presidents are paying a lot of concern to LGBTIQ rights which could help them to get more votes.


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Many of these tweets were posted from USA (more than 40%) and the UK. It shows that LGBTIQ rights issue is currently a hot topic in these 2 areas.

However, from the data I had, not many tweets were posted from Australia. I expected to have more data from Australia but it seems that the topic wasn’t concerned as much as it was in USA and UK.


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Gay Rights News – 68 tweets

The Gay Rights News is the most active one. Their tweets had got a lot of attention.  Also following up is the Women’s News. These accounts are from organisations supporting LGBT rights. However, besides that, there are also many individual accounts who constantly tweeted/retweeted relevant topics. These people are celebrities, journalists, politicians and so on.


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A lot of people use Twitter on their Mobile devices (30.8%) and from websites (21%). Also for those accounts who are owned by organisations, they use other platforms such as RoundTeam or Hootsuite to tweet Twitter.

Top words:

LGBT 1917
Gay 647
Support 308
human rights 205
equality 165
Clinton 163


5 point summary: 

  • Twitter is an useful platform for celebrities, politicians, journalists and public figures to share their opinions, raise awareness for LGBT rights.
  • The majority of the content was about politic issues (Hillary, Trump or the murder in Turkey), celebrities’ statements and support, LGBT rights (same-sex love, blood donation, jobs, …)
  • Mostly the issue are highly concentrated in USA, UK and Europian.
  • Everything starts making sense for me as the mapping excercise actually helped me a lot in collecting and analysing data. The data I got was much more condense and more useful for me to specify the problem I’m focusing.
  • I don’t really know about my potential design response to all the data I have got. But I can start from the fact that the issue is being discussed more outer Australia.

‘Twitter Tutorial Two: 7 Important Twitter Features Explained’, Peter Grandstaff, viewed 5 September 2016, <>