You’ve heard the politicians going on about Twitter and Facebook and the riots? You’d have to be living in a serious hole or must have been on holiday a long time not to have. There’s been a lot said and a lot done.

We recently pitched the government via the Technology Strategy Board for a system to predict where this stuff might happen (better the devil you know!)… They are taking this stuff seriously, there was £600k available to research this “Minority Report” style software and while its not where it needs to be yet, it is not as far off as you might think.

Well now (via a new company) we’ve done the opposite of predicting the future and discovered an interesting twist – humour, however “dark”, plays a large part in social communication and trending. Using control data and then a continuous stream of “chatter” that fits targeted queries, the Churnbar system was “taught” what it should be looking for with minimal human interaction with some interesting results.

To quote Nigel Legg the auth of the post,

Care is needed when using social media to find the instigators of criminal activity.  Law enforcement agencies need to determine whether a post is humorous or serious in intent.

For a full explanation read Nigel’s excellent post.

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