Computer program could help to calm civil unrest

A new computer program could help to calm civil unrest and identify early threats to public safety by analysing postings on Twitter and assessing public mood, academics have said.

The system can analyse up to 2,000 tweets a second to extract from each a direct expression of one of eight basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion.

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The team at Loughborough University’s new Centre for Information Management who developed the program have said it could be possible to use the complex software, named the EMOTIVE program, to geographically map the emotional mood of the nation and its reaction to big events.

Twitter is a form of social media that, like Facebook, was criticised for aiding rioters in the summer of 2011.