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Article

#AllforJan: How Twitter Users in Europe Reacted to the Murder of Ján Kuciak—Revealing Spatiotemporal Patterns through Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling

1
Department of Political Geography, Development and Regional Studies, University of Pécs, 7624 Pécs, Hungary
2
IDA Lab, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
3
Department of Geoinformatics—Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
4
Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Arianna D’Ulizia, Patrizia Grifoni, Fernando Ferri and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(9), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10090585
Received: 20 July 2021 / Revised: 20 August 2021 / Accepted: 26 August 2021 / Published: 31 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Computing for Geographic Information Science)
Social media platforms such as Twitter are considered a new mediator of collective action, in which various forms of civil movements unite around public posts, often using a common hashtag, thereby strengthening the movements. After 26 February 2018, the #AllforJan hashtag spread across the web when Ján Kuciak, a young journalist investigating corruption in Slovakia, and his fiancée were killed. The murder caused moral shock and mass protests in Slovakia and in several other European countries, as well. This paper investigates how this murder, and its follow-up events, were discussed on Twitter, in Europe, from 26 February to 15 March 2018. Our investigations, including spatiotemporal and sentiment analyses, combined with topic modeling, were conducted to comprehensively understand the trends and identify potential underlying factors in the escalation of the events. After a thorough data pre-processing including the extraction of spatial information from the users’ profile and the translation of non-English tweets, we clustered European countries based on the temporal patterns of tweeting activity in the analysis period and investigated how the sentiments of the tweets and the discussed topics varied over time in these clusters. Using this approach, we found that tweeting activity resonates not only with specific follow-up events, such as the funeral or the resignation of the Prime Minister, but in some cases, also with the political narrative of a given country affecting the course of discussions. Therefore, we argue that Twitter data serves as a unique and useful source of information for the analysis of such civil movements, as the analysis can reveal important patterns in terms of spatiotemporal and sentimental aspects, which may also help to understand protest escalation over space and time. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media analysis; sentiment analysis; topic modeling; Ján Kuciak; spatiotemporal clustering; social unrest social media analysis; sentiment analysis; topic modeling; Ján Kuciak; spatiotemporal clustering; social unrest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kovács, T.; Kovács-Győri, A.; Resch, B. #AllforJan: How Twitter Users in Europe Reacted to the Murder of Ján Kuciak—Revealing Spatiotemporal Patterns through Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10, 585. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10090585

AMA Style

Kovács T, Kovács-Győri A, Resch B. #AllforJan: How Twitter Users in Europe Reacted to the Murder of Ján Kuciak—Revealing Spatiotemporal Patterns through Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2021; 10(9):585. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10090585

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kovács, Tamás, Anna Kovács-Győri, and Bernd Resch. 2021. "#AllforJan: How Twitter Users in Europe Reacted to the Murder of Ján Kuciak—Revealing Spatiotemporal Patterns through Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 10, no. 9: 585. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10090585

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