1 year on: An analysis of 10 million tweets about Edward Snowden

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It’s 1 year since the NSA leaks, and we’ve used our analytics and visualisation tools to crunch 10,146,900 tweets that mention Edward Snowden.

It seems the first ever tweet to mention Edward Snowden was from Janine Gibson (3 minutes before Glenn Greenwald himself).

We created a visualisation to show how, once his identity became public, the mentions of Snowden quickly overshadowed the mentions of the NSA and Prism.

Who is tweeting about Snowden

We found 8,836,300 unique accounts that had mentioned Snowden in a tweet. Here are the 10 that were most retweeted or mentioned with regards to Snowden.

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What are they tweeting?

Below are the top tweets, hashtags, words and urls.

Top tweets

Top hashtags

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Top Cities

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Initially Washington appeared as the city with the highest number of tweets. By the second month, Caracas was the highest, as Snowden was offered asylum by President Maduro. Since then top cities have remained fairly consistent with New York, London and Washington all being in the top spot at different times.

Traitor or Patriot?

This chart shows the percentage of tweets that contain ‘patriot’ or ‘traitor’ when discussing Snowden. Obviously this can include reporting of other people’s opinions rather than just reflecting the overall options of Twitter users, but it is still interesting that there were a couple of months where the order flipped.

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