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Student research group analyzing social media during presidential debate

Published: Sep. 26, 2016 at 8:32 PM EDT
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The University of Tennessee's Political Social Media Group, led by UT Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor Stuart N. Brotman, planned to provide social media analysis during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The group met in the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center on UT's campus to gather and report trends for media use and public knowledge by midnight after the debate. Social media accounts were created to administer the group's updates on their study, including the Twitter handle

, their

page, and their

account.

The Political Social Media Research Group at the university formed for graduate students in a seminar course to use the UT College of Communication and Information's new Adam Brown Social Media Command Center to monitor various social media platforms during the presidential and vice presidential debates, as well as on Election Night. Students planned to monitor various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram to locate and examine trends and flashpoints that generate the most discussion on social media.

The command center's software was programmed to allow students to analyze how various issues cause debate between users of a specific social media platform versus another, as well as break down issues and discussion by geographic location. The software was also programed to generate charts, graphs and word clouds for analysis.

The command center was created to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Studio, which is used by Fortune 100 companies worldwide in marketing endeavors. The center was built and is operated through a fund established by Brown, who attended the university and began working as an executive strategist for Salesforce.