Post 6: Scraping the web for data

Facebook has become the one of the most popular and biggest social media websites used today, with their mission to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. According to the Facebook Newsroom there are 1.13 billion daily active users on average for June 2016. It has incorporated tools from every social media website and application that has ever existed and shows characteristics of Myspace, Bebo, MSN Messenger, Twitter and Instagram. It’s even linked to current apps such as Instagram and Twitter by allowing the user to experience tools such as hashtags to be used throughout it.

I looked up the NASA’s Climate Change page on Facebook and noticed that 1,170,239 people like the page which means there are a lot of people aware of the effects of climate change. It shows that it’s a ‘government organisation’. The most recent post reveals that “most of Earth’s freshwater is tied in glaciers which means there is only a relatively small portion is available to sustain human, plant and animal life”.

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Above: From the NASA Climate Change Facebook page.

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I investigated into the statistics of their page and it revealed that they have a fluctuating number of people liking and unliking their page.

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There is an app linked to the Facebook page which allows the user to keep track of Climate Change.

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They include various Events and this reflects the attempt to get more people involved in thinking about the matter. The first event is no place like home which was a day for people to think about their favourite place on earth whether it be a park or a mountain and post a photo of it. I think this event is a clever way to get people involved as it would get them thinking about the importance of the world through their own likes and experiences.

Another past event is where individuals could become ‘Citizen Scientists’ by observing the clouds then documenting and sharing their data and photos of their ‘sky art’ online. This is another clever way of getting people involved as it makes them feel connected to a cause and other people and then they become a part of the solution strategy.

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Looking up global warming and climate change on the Twitter Archiver it revealed 9902 posts on this topic in the spreadsheet. It was interesting to be able to see all the names of the individuals and organisations posting. There were a lot of reposts and posts about Greenpeace and the issue of protecting biodiversity as key to help the Amazon survive in a warming world.

  • Social media; in particular Facebook is another reality of our world, an augmented one we all enter when we log on. It is a destructive weapon to living in the present moment, but a widely entered world where a variety of people can be targeted all around the world. It has a way of psychologically entering our subconscious mind as people scroll through their news feed.
  • Although Facebook is a great strategy to keep people connected and in contact, it is also a great way to disconnect people and make people detached from each other and real life experiences.
  • Social media can be used to target a wide range of an audience and can be used to create change within our realities by creating awareness around issues such as climate change.
  • People love to talk about what they like and creating social events through social media is a great way of getting people to talk and think about issues such as climate change.
  • The Twitter Archiver is a great tool to view what is currently trending, the issues we are currently faced with and which organisations and people are involved. I will definitely be using it for future reference when I need to research current topics and their issues / solutions.

References:

NASA, Climate Change Facebook, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/NASAClimateChange/#

Facebook, 2016, WordPress, http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/

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