Greece: Politics, Economics, and Rowdy Behaviour separated

Many of us are trying to keep track of what is going on in Greece these days. We will have reason to give you more news flashes of how events in Greece are being narrated and reported – here is a first peek at results from our ongoing monitor. This monitor is based on English-language reports, chatter, tweets, blog and forum posts on the Greek crisis.

Greece in news and social media in October 2011
Graph of mentions of Greece in the news and social media in October 2011

Noticeable is that there is a clear spike in our vpi signal in mid-October (blue ring). This signal – the violence propensity index – indicates violent sentiment. The news reports we have collected from those days do not belie this. Negativity in general gives no spike here – these texts report on violence but do so dispassionately. By contrast, the last two days, in wake of rising concern over the impending referendum and political uncertainty in Greece, we find a rising trend (red ring) of a negative signal, both editorial reporting and comments – but no violence.

This, of course, is vastly preferable! (And from our point of view it is pleasing to be able to separate political and economic browbeating, however, heated, from tear gas and brick throwing.)

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