IIIT Hyderabad Professors To Analyse Online Trends And Public Opinion In View Of Upcoming General ElectionsThe Twitter account on the Twitter app (Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

Professors from International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) have decided to gauge public opinion regarding contemporary politics, social life or economic issues, in the light of the upcoming general elections this year, reports Times of India.

The researchers aim to analyze what users search and share on social media, especially Twitter.

One of the professors, Radhika Krishnan feels that old-style statistical analysis does not give an accurate picture, stating that sophisticated tools were now being used in the Language Technologies Research Centre (LTRC) lab that can actually differentiate and see the nuances in the usage of the same word by different media houses and political parties.

Krishnan says that while Frequency Analysis will narrow down the major issues that are likely to crop up like the loan waivers, corruption, Ram Mandir, agricultural prices, a more sophisticated analysis can be done to gain insight into what people are actually saying about these issues.

She says that more than frequency, context is essential for a social scientist. "Even if these words do not appear on Twitter or appear peripherally, I'm going to see if there's a change," says Krishnan.

A visiting professor to IIIT-H Ponnurangam Kumaraguru is trying to understand the extent to which social media can be manipulated.

An expert in security and privacy in online social media, Kumaraguru states that since the number of online followers of a candidate creates an impression on the viewers, an overnight increase in the same may mean that most of them are fake. He is interested in building a tool for Twitter that shows the number of followers vs adjusted number of followers, the latter being BOT followers.

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