Sports fans, social media addicts and television producers have been cursing Twitter during these Olympics. Spoilers rip across the globe and tweets overload networks to the point of jamming TV signals. That little birdy and its billions of 140-character posts are edging in on all major events. And now Twitter wants to capitalize on that data by getting in the polling game.
Yesterday, it launched a tool that tracks mentions of President Barack Obama & his opponent Mitt Romney. The “Twindex” churns out a daily approval rating of the presidential candidates based on positive or negative tweets. Mitt is at 26 (+ over yesterday). Barack is +10 over yesterday to 44.
So what, right? Not so fast. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza says, "Ignore the 'Twindex' at your peril."
So how does it work exactly? How does it compare to old-fashioned polling? Is it accurate? If not, what are the consequences? Can it detect sarcasm? What would Twitter be without sarcasm?
Adam Sharp, Head of Government, News & Social Innovation, Twitter
Chris Cillizza, writes The Fix for The Washington Post and author of "The Gospel According to the Fix: An Insider's Guide to a Less than Holy World of Politics"
Julia Clark, Pollster, Vice President, Public Sector Practice, Ipsos Public Affairs