It gives potential voters, but really, all people, easy access to a politician's current thoughts on trending issues, category by category.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NEW FEATURE: 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.
That's certainly our hope. Although that data will become available at different times for different municipalities. Check back in weekly, and especially in September 2018, when all of the ballot data should be universally available.
At that point, a zipcode or an address search will yield information about the elections taking place in your neck of the woods, and the categorized tweets of all the candidates on the ballot.
The app stems from an idea that Diana O. Eromosele –-a full-stack software engineer and former multimedia journalist–-spearheaded. She pitched the idea of categorizing tweets to her group members as one of the project's main features, and worked as its lead engineer, writing the algorithms and developing the entire back-end of the feature.
She decided to launch the feature into this separate app, Categorized Tweets, which hosts a more refined algorithm and additional functionality, like enabling people to search for their federal, state and local representatives using a zipcode or address.
Diana is continuing to build and flesh out new features for Categorized Tweets, and also works full-time as a software engineer at an ed-tech company in New York City.
All of the category graphics are from the Noun Project:
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...