Effects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK

Thomas Lansdall-Welfare, V Lampos, Nello Cristianini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

68 Citations (Scopus)


Large scale analysis of social media content allows for real time discovery of macro-scale patterns in public opinion and sentiment. In this paper we analyse a collection of 484 million tweets generated by more than 9.8 million users from the United Kingdom over the past 31 months, a period marked by economic downturn and some social tensions. Our findings, besides corroborating our choice of method for the detection of public mood, also present intriguing patterns that can be explained in terms of events and social changes. On the one hand, the time series we obtain show that periodic events such as Christmas and Halloween evoke similar mood patterns every year. On the other hand, we see that a significant increase in negative mood indicators coincide with the announcement of the cuts to public spending by the government, and that this effect is still lasting. We also detect events such as the riots of summer 2011, as well as a possible calming effect coinciding with the run up to the royal wedding.
Translated title of the contributionEffects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMining Social Network Dynamics (MSND) session on Social Media Applications in News and Entertainment (SMANE) at WWW '12
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1221 - 1226
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


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