Data and Analytics

2016 Elections Flaming Index

Flaming Index

It is a general assumption that a party will use a communication channel to positively enforce their ideology and spread the message they are wanting the public understand. However, we noticed that not only did political parties do this, but some also used this platform to negatively communicate a message about another party, which we refer to as flaming.

The flaming Index is straight forward - it’s a view of political parties’ Twitter accounts mentioning any political party in their posts. Of the Twitter handles of political parties, only the 3 accounts mentioned below were active and mentioned a political party in their tweet during the data collection time.

Flaming Sentiment

Flaming Sentiment

The ANC and DA were most active on Twitter during this time with the ANC limiting their negative sentiments compared to both the EFF and DA. Both the EFF and the DA had a number of tweets mentioning other parties while the ANC kept their tweets focused on themselves. The VFPlus only had a hand full of tweets during the collection period. Both the ANC and DA very positively mention themselves in a couple of their tweets with the below image showing an example of those tweets. This image shows the text of the tweet, the political party mentioned in the tweet and the sentiment given to the tweet.

Very Positive and Positive ANC Tweets:

Flaming Sentiment

Very Positive and Positive DA Tweets:

Flaming Sentiment

Both parties seem to be strongly enforcing a very positive view on their campaigns while the EFF only seems to positively tweet as can be seen in the below image:

Flaming Sentiment

The EFF focuses on uniting people with hope and promise of freedom compared to the DA’s approach of letting the people know they are ready and are wanting to win while also being unshaken by criticism. The ANC’s tweets mention more that they need to win and try to appeal to the publics emotions by mentioning the communities and having a special place in the heart for them.

However, the flaming index also shows what negative parties have said about themselves and others from their tweets. Taking a look at which political parties flame or tweet negatively about another party, it’s clear that the EFF and the ANC both negatively tweet about other parties as seen below.

EFF’s Negative Tweets:

Flaming Sentiment

The EFF accuse the ANC of stealing, being rotten and being corrupt while they mention the DA as being liars. The EFF is clearly pointing fingers at other main parties compared to the DA’s approach when negatively mentioning another party and focusing on the facts and stating the problems created by the political party. This is evident below when they speak about the ANC causing job loss while asking for the youth to pay for Nkandla as being shameful.

DA’s Negative Tweets:

Flaming Sentiment

In interesting point to note is that the DA’s seems to be negatively tweeting about themselves, but in actual fact if we look at the tweet, the DA is identifying negative topics and stating that they can change those situations. This shows a party’s ability to negatively tweet about a topic and put themselves in the spot light to fix the issue. This is also evident in the ANC’s negative tweets seen below.

ANC’s Negative Tweets:

Flaming Sentiment

Note that the ANC does not flame or tweet negatively about any other party and only focus on themselves but not in the same sense that the DA was negatively tweeting about themselves. The ANC’s approach seems to be more sympathetic and emotional using words like hope, pray, poor and greed whereas the DA’s focus was factually stating problems and suggesting they are able to solve the issues.