Why Categorize Tweets?
It gives potential voters, but really, all people, easy access to a politician's current thoughts on trending issues, category by category.
How Does It Work?
The app's proprietary algorithm scans the Twitter timelines of politicians (and VIPs) and sorts qualifying tweets into 9 key categories: Economy, Gun Laws, National Security/Foreign Policy, Race Relations, Immigration, Education, LGBTQ, Healthcare and Climate Change.
Users can then click on each category to read the actual tweets.
In light of the heightened interest surrounding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, a special category titled Kavanaugh Confirmation
has been added temporarily. You can now stay up to date with how your representatives are weighing in on this very timely matter.
How Far Back Does the Algorithm Scan?
The proprietary algorithm scans the 200 most-recent tweets of a public Twitter timeline and pulls only those tweets that are about a specific issue.
Keep in mind that for some politicos, 200 tweets represent the past two weeks (because they've got a robust social media team, perhaps) whereas for other politicos, 200 tweets may span back six months or even a year.
How Should I Interpret the Results?
Categorized Tweets is an extremely useful app when determining which issues a politician (or influencer) is prioritizing during any given time and their stance on these very important topics.
If a politician or political influencer doesn't appear to have tweeted about a particular issue, it doesn't necessarily mean they're neglecting or deprioritizing the issue. Categorized Tweets should give you a high and then low-level understanding of which topics are trending, and how your representatives -- or candidates vying to be your representative -- are weighing in on these issues.
Check back in often, especially as the 2018 midterm elections near, and even after, to get up to speed on which issues are trending and the different perspectives that are forming around a topic. This is a wonderful tool for a prospective voter or for someone who needs a quick summary of current events.
Is It Perfect?
Nearly. The algorithm is pretty spot on with regard to detecting if a tweet is about a specific issue, but at times, a tweet may contain elements that erroneously connects it to a particular issue. That happens every now and then, but not terribly often.
Where'd you get the graphics from?
- Gun icon by Simon Child;
- Money icon by Gira Park;
- Melting Earth icon by Emilegraphics;
- Military Tank icon by Chameleon Design;
- Fist icon by Cesar Reynoso;
- Immigration Icon by Yosef;
- Intersexuality icon by Sergey Demushkin;
- Healthcare Caduceus icon by Hea Poh Lin;
What's Up With Some Politicians Not Having an Official Twitter Account?
Our policy is to only scan Twitter accounts that are tethered to a representative's legislative office. These official accounts are taxpayer-funded accounts, and not campaign or personal accounts. Tweets from these accounts hold more weight because they reflect the politician's views as an elected official presiding over a constituency.
My Rep Has an Official Twitter Account, But Categorized Tweets Says Otherwise...
No problem. Tweet
us the Twitter handle and we'll update our system if we find that the Twitter account is indeed valid.
Why Doesn't My Zipcode Search Yield All of my US Legislators?
Some zipcodes overlap multiple congressional districts and thus those searches will not yield legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will yield members in the U.S. Senate, however, since these are state-wide offices.
You can now use an address
to search for your reps! That kind of location-specific search will yield all of your representatives in Congress as well as state and local officials too.
Can I see the categorized tweets of the candidates whom are challenging my reps in the 2018 midterm elections?
Yes! Categorized Tweets now has data about the upcoming 2018 US Midterm election! Plop your address into our secure search engine, here
, and we'll yield information about all of the contests that you'll be voting for.
You can click on the different candidates to see their categorized tweets.
Is the App Affiliated With a Particular Political Organization?
Nope. We're non-partisan.
Who's Behind It?
Me! I'm Diana O. Eromosele
–-a full-stack software engineer and former multimedia journalist. During my time at an software engineering bootcamp, I pitched the idea of categorizing political tweets to my group members as one of our final project's main features, and worked as its lead engineer, writing the algorithms and developing the entire back-end of the feature.
I decided to launch that feature into this separate app, Categorized Tweets. I made my algorithm even better and introduced new functionality, like enabling people to search for their federal, state and local representatives using a zipcode or address.
I'm continuing to build and flesh out new features for Categorized Tweets as the app's lone software developer. It's been such joy responding to feature requests from users all over the country. I have a bunch of amazing features on deck that potential voters will love. I also work full-time as a software engineer at an ed-tech company in New York City.
How Can I Help Keep This App Up and Running?
The more Categorized Tweets is used, the larger the database grows and the more it costs to keep the server equally as robust. If you so choose, feel free to donate however much you'd like via PayPal
. Thank you in advance for ensuring a more informed electorate.
So much more. This website is in the beta stage--with a ton of features on deck. It is Diana's belief that all voters in every country should have access to the categorized tweets of every candidate listed on a ballot. Stay tuned...