Observing the visualized results of the trends produced by TWtrends, we can see that Twitter trends do a good job of reflecting the state of society. However, observing them every day for an extended period of time has also revealed that there is a significant deviation.
One example is shown in Figure 2, the May 2 topic map. At first glance, it seems like it's a continuation of the "first XX of the Reiwa era" trend, but closer examination reveals that the cluster of topics relates to a featured program on NHK FM called "Kyo wa Ichinichi Gundam Zanmai" (Today is an All-About Gundam Day). Furthermore, the clusters that always appear during weekend are topics related to horse racing. On Sundays, the television programs aired on Sunday mornings regularly form large clusters. Many other TV programs often appear in trends, such as Friday night movies and certain information variety shows, showing that mainstream media and online media are inseparable.
Topics related to IT, anime and games also often form large clusters. While clusters of topics related to current events and social issues emerge, less publicized topics can also create large clusters. This shows that major matters of concern to society aren't always aligned with trends on Twitter. Therefore, when asked whether Twitter is a complete representation of public opinion, the answer is no. However, it does reflect the major concerns of society to the extent that it can't be ignored. It can't be trusted completely, but it also can't be ignored. This may be a commonplace conclusion, but in terms of Social Network Services, it would be beneficial to understand how the medium works and learn to be flexible in dealing with it.
Professor, Faculty of Global Informatics, Chuo University
Area of Specialization: Multimedia/database soft computing
Jun Iio was born in 1970 in Gifu Prefecture and grew up in Nagano.
He completed the master's course at the Department of Mathematical Engineering and Information Physics, School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1994.
He joined Mitsubishi Research Institute the same year. After serving as executive chief engineer in the company, he became an associate professor at the Department of Literature, Chuo University in 2013.
In 2014, he became a professor in the Department of Literature. He assumed his current post in 2019.
Since 2009, he has also held the role of guest associate professor at the International Center, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.
He is a director of the Human Centered Design Organization.
He is a Ph.D. in engineering, P.E.Jp (information engineering), and Certified Human Centered Design Professional.
He has a strong interest in interactions between humans and systems and the way humans interact with IT.