By: Jannie Mach
Twitter is a social network that allows us—users to connect and communicate in real-time to “share minute by minute” information based on what is happening on a daily basis, frequent updates, and the use of freedom of speech…if you abide the terms and conditions. Although, the messages can only be limited to 140 characters, which allows users to either send or read other ‘tweets.’ It’s a very effective way to search related sources like photos or videos that can be ‘retweeted,’ seeing different opinions/views from organisations, groups, individuals or around the world. All of the above, the essential feature is the use of ‘hashtags’ to categorise the tweets and letting the users easily search by typing keywords or phrases along with the symbol (#). I had made an account ages ago, and I never been able to discover or interact with the system—now it’s an opportunity.
Findings of information and extracting that with advanced Twitter Archive (an index of users tweets/retweets) is an accessible way to receive and look at data from one range. I started to explore the system and created a search rule based on the section ‘all of these words’ and typed the words “Refugees” and “Australia.” To try and get a sense of how the system works, I was amazed on a number of tweets I gained back—with more than 3000. The latest tweet:
As continue, I created a new rule and decided to input words like “Mental Health” and “Asylum Seekers,” and I was shocked on the volume of tweets… it was merely over 100 tweets. Most of the tweets were from retweeting such as a recent article ‘Less that Human: does asylum system harm child refugees mental health?’ author by Steventon, J.J. 2016.
I found a majority of them are located in England, which is quite peculiar but interesting at the same time. Perhaps, I didn’t place anything in the category for ‘people’ because I wanted to see in a wide overview coming from different countries. Likewise, I think I needed to narrow down and aim to find suitable keywords like detainees, detention centres, Nauru, Manu Island etc.
As a result of using the Twitter Archive, it was taking a long process and I ended up with nothing or blank therefore I shifted and looked in the social media Twitter. I typed in the search bar “Mental Health in Asylum Seekers” and I compared with “Mental Health in Refugees” and again specific keywords is important to get the new current feed.
The image above shows the Last update vs latest update (left: Mental Health in Asylum Seekers and right: Mental Health in Refugees).
The issue of Mental Health is very fragile and applying that with Asylum Seekers and Refugees adds another level. I wondered what images or visualisations that represent or pops up and surprisingly there is only one. I presume, it will be uncomfortable and might create an uproar to the public or society. I realised as I’m doing an advanced search I gained tweets from 2015 in relation to Mental Health towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees in detention centres. However, I thought I should type in “refugee children” instead and see what comes up.
I gathered up-to-date tweets from September the 1st, which shows how the role of children is important like at a young age any child—especially Refugees/Asylum seekers shouldn’t be treated or go through this mayhem. Also, I see views of positiveness, facts, and various emotions from organisations and people trying to spread the awareness.
Furthermore, I was interested in the idea of searching up specific words relating to emotions towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees and I mainly focused on the word ‘sadness.’ During the process, I tend to think that it’s very difficult for what I’m trying to express and how to capture each individual/ organisation emotions and somehow turn- it into an informative data.
I had in mind that I need to look for information on people views and determine what emotions are inflicted upon Asylum Seekers and Refugees. To deepen my research and strengthen my upcoming design proposal.
Notes: I’m a beginner with the social media platform—twitter.