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    Posted February 9, 2013 by
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

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    How the #shahbag movement is gaining momentum in social media


    I have been collecting Twitter data about the #Shahbag movement in Bangladesh, the tweets clearly show how the Bangladeshis all over the world are coming forward to support the movement. It is not about politics, but their love for country making them stand together for the demand of capital punishment for the war criminals who are responsible for the genocide during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.


    As the movement of Bangladeshis is gaining its momentum, more and more Bangladeshis are using social network services like Twitter and Facebook to organize the movement. The Bangladeshis living abroad are also trying their best to show their support, and not just mere moral support, they are uploading Youtube video and organizing solidarity events to stand together in this moment of national priority. We talk about technology mediated social participation, and yes, now we have the time to show what it actually means. It's time to show that the the love for our country is stronger than the hand of the war criminals.


    For last three days I am collecting the Tweets and the Twitter networks of the people who are Twitting with the hashtag #Shahbag. And the amazing this that I noticed is that, many of the tweets are from very new users, those people joined Twitter with the spirit to share the words, to tell the world how they feel about this movement, I could see that they still do not have any profile picture, so Twitter used the default 'egg' icon for their profile pictures. So salute to those new users who cared enough to open an account for the cause, in fact Twitter should notice that how an event like this can increase their user base.


    Feb 7, 2013 : At the end of the day in Feb7, I drew the Twitter network using the Social network analysis tool called NodeXL. Not that big, few people, and not many tweets, but let's see what happened the next day:


    Feb 8, 2013: Now we have so many people that I had to use some encoding to keep all the people in the image, so I resized their profile icons: if they tweeted more, I made their icons bigger, and they are also in the middle. If they tweeted less, their profile icon in the image got smaller. And you also see the links between the people: these links indicate that they either retwewted, replied or mentioned each other. So, when I retweeted my friend Enam's tweet, it draws an arrow from my icon to Enam's icon. Also I used advanced layout so that the nodes (the icons of the people) do not overlap, so the more active people are placed at the center of the image and less active people (with fewer tweets) are placed at the edge of the image.


    Feb 9, 2013: But, now as you already guessed, we have more participation, more tweets, more people. Today when I pulled the data of all these people, I noticed that the graph looked like a hairball, so I tried to organize the people and their Twitter activity by groups. How is that ? Some people know each other personally or follow each other on Twitter, they reply to their Twitter friends, mention them and retweets each others' tweets, so they are connected with links. For example, I retweet my friends' tweets, I reshare the URL they share in Twitter. And mt other followers also reshare or retweet the things I tweet or share. So now we all get connected this way. We will notice that now small clusters are formed within all those users. This is waht I got after making the groups of people who are more connected together (Fe 9th, 2013). And inside each group we can see one or two prominent people who are more active within their own group, so they are basically leading their group by creating more useful content that their friends are resharing or retweeting.



    Along with the #Shahbag hashtag, people are also using other hashtags in their tweets, here is the top hashtags used in those tweets:


    Top most hashtags:  Using Twitter, we can also mention another user in our tweets, in this case people mentioned mostly different news agencies in their tweets, that's mostly because they wanted those news agencies to pay attention to their tweets.


    Top 10 mentioned users: most of them are news agencies, BBC, CNN, AlJazeera, etc.


    Also here is the list of today's top most shared URL in Twitter regarding the #Shahbag movement:

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