dwdl data

The Assembly Twitosffer - 2

After my initial analysis of how AMs use twitter I was asked if it was possible to repeat the analysis. I decided to have a go (with quite a lot of help and advice) at creating my first RShiny tool which allows people to analyse AM tweets over time whenever they want.

This tool allows you to decide what date range is of interest to you (from January 1st 2019 onwards) and then you can see four pages of information:

  1. The 20 hashtags that have been used most often by AMs during the period.
  2. Which language do AMs use on twitter, ordered by the percentage of Welsh used.
  3. A visualisation of the network of twitter contact between AMs, with the width of the connection depending on the number of times the member has mentioned or retweeted the other.
  4. A table of all tweets by AMs during the period.

You can open the app externally here if you want to open it in a full page.


By using pages together it is possible to get a better understanding of what is happening in Welsh politics. For example if you look at tweets from January 2019 it is interesting the the hashtag #DRS was used 29 times by members of Labour, the Conservatives and Plaid. I had no idea what it stood for, but by putting “#DRS” into the “text” filter on the search tab it was quite straight forward to discover that it referred to “deposit return scheme”


By looking at the language table for January it was quite striking that Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas tweets more in “other” languages than he does through Welsh. This made me question the quality of Twitter language classification, however if you go to the search tab and put “Dafydd Elis Thomas” into the name filer, and then sort by “language” you will see just how often the Lord is retweeting sources which were originally written in Catalan.


The connection in January show that Neil McEvoy mentioned or retweeted Mark Drakeford a lot of times (the grey connection between the two with the arrow toward Drakeford is considerably wider than any other) and Mark Drakeford does not refer to Neil McEvoy at all. If you go to the search tab and put “Neil McEvoy” into the name filter and “@MarkDrakeford” into the “text” filter it is possible to see that Neil McEvoy was very upset with a response he had received in the Senedd from the First Minister and he discussed this and retweeted a lot of people complaining about it and mentioned Mark Drakeford each time.


I will try and update the data regularly, if you have any ideas for further analysis you would like to see, then please let me know.