Gathering Data

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Despite the rising number of deaths to suicide, what’s really being done? (Michel 2016)


POST 6 // Scraping the Web for Data

By Eugenie Park


The internet is dense with information. With the help of search engines, all types of information can be found. The use of data scraping tools enables are more focused search from all sources. Scraping the web for specific data is useful to see what the community is thinking about your focus area. Using the advanced search tool on Twitter, I was able to find the current stance on mental health in the military.

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Stigma plays a huge role in preventing soldiers in seeking help. Despite this no much is being done to talk about the issue and break the barriers that are stopping individuals from receiving treatment.






Looking to scrape more data, I chose to use Datapipeline to research more into my focus. I found that a lot of the results were repeated as it picked up on retweets. However it was interesting to see the Top Retweets and Favourites.


5 Point Summary

  • A slight change in search terms can change the resulting tweets. This brings me back to the word mind mapping exercise that was done in class.
  • Despite the known concerns of soldiers and veterans suffering from mental health issues, not much is being done. The filtered tweets go back to 2009 however only 11 out of 213 tweets were posted this year. There are not many campaigns or services advertised to support soldiers and veterans as well as their families with treating mental illness
  • More people are becoming aware that a greater number of people with mental illness are turning to suicide. Despite each case is different, knowing the ‘symptoms’ can definitely help.
  • A handful of people do not view the mental health of soldiers as a result of their upbringing and also due to their choice to become soldiers. Another handful of people are sceptical about the relationship between service and mental health.
  • Soldiers and veterans dealing with mental health issues may also be experiencing problems with drug abuse. This is a big problem within the States.



Michel, J. 2016, “Veteran Commits Suicide Hours After Being Turned Away At VA Facility – Rest In Peace”, Twitter Post, 27 July, viewed 6 September 2016 <;

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