UT students measure social reaction to State of the Union

Local News

Social media users across the country took to their platform of choice to weigh in on the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. A group of researchers at UT were there to track the response.

UT graduate students use a variety of tools to look at the conversation across a range of social channels.

Part of the research includes compiling a word cloud of the most commonly used words — including ‘unemployment’ and ‘immigrants.’

They also tracked the sentiment of the comments — more than 60 percent of them were negative. 

A graduate student at the says that’s pretty common when you look at how people use social media.

“That’s the case with a lot of the State of the Union speeches we’ve covered in the past,” said Brandon Boatright, a graduate assistant. “Sentiment was generally negative because social media is a platform where people can go on and be more critical of conversations.”

Researchers noticed that while you heard from the president on infrastructure last night, that’s not something people were talking much about online. They say that’s likely because it doesn’t have the emotional impact of immigration or national security.

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