Ahead of Debate, USC Project Uses Twitter To Measure Political Sentiment

A new project out of the University of Southern California is looking to help people visualize public sentiment towards the 2012 United States presidential candidates, by analyzing Twitter. According to the school, its new real-time sentiment analysis project analyzes public sentiment towards President Obama and Mitt Romney, by analyzing the emotion of tweets--figuring out if those Tweets are positive, negative, neutral or otherwise--and using it to figure out, in real-time, how the public is responding to such things as political debates and breaking news. The first 2012 Presidential Debate is scheduled for later tonight in Denver. The USC project was developed jointly by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL) at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The two said the service is also able to detect and filter through things like sarcasm in Twitter posts.