Semuhi Sinanoglu

Mobilizing the Masses: Measuring Resource Mobilization on Twitter

with Amir Abdul Reda & Mohamed Abdalla, published on Sociological Methods & Research, February 4.

Our paper w/ @amirabdulreda & Mo. Abdalla just up at SMR. Ungated!

We created a lexicon to capture tweets about resource mobilization in the US. Our index score correlates with #protests in the US.#AcademicChatter #AcademicTwitter#phdlife

— Semuhi Sinanoğlu (@semuhi) February 4, 2021


How can we measure the resource mobilization (RM) efforts of social movements on Twitter? In this article, we create the first ever measure of social movements’ RM efforts on a social media platform. To this aim, we create a four-conditional lexicon that can parse through tweets and identify those concerned with RM. We also create a simple RM score that can be plotted in a time series format to track the RM efforts of social movements in real time. We use our tools with millions of tweets from the United States streamed between November 28, 2018, and February 11, 2019, to demonstrate how our measure can help us estimate the saliency and persistency of social movements’ RM efforts. We find that our measure captures RM by successfully cross checking the variation of this score against protest events in the United States during the same time frame. Finally, we illustrate the descriptive and qualitative utility of our tools for understanding social movements by running conventional topic modeling algorithms on the tweets that were used to compute the RM score and point at specific avenues for theory building and testing.

The validity of our measure