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2011-10-24

Analysis of buzz, hatred, and associations during the unraveling of Håkan Juholts accommodation reimbursements affair

In this post, we analyze the mention frequency, strong negative sentiment or hatred and terminology associated with the leader of the Swedish Social Democrats, Håkan Juholt, during the unraveling of his accommodation reimbursements affair. The analysis is made on the Swedish blogosphere between October 1 and 19, 2011, by using Ethersource technology and our proprietary associations engine.

The short version of the story is: Juholt went into the accommodation affair in early October with a fairly low buzz in the blogosphere, and a reasonable level of strong negative sentiment or hatred expressed towards him considering he is a leading politician in an opposition party. At the mid-end of the month, the buzz once again settles, but the hatred has reached high levels! The terms associated with him suggests that the affair will not wear off easily.

Image 1 and Image 2, below, illustrate several things. The blue curve denotes the mention frequency, that is, the number of mentions of Juholt in the Swedish blogosphere. The red curve denotes the hatred expressed in relation to Juholt. The words pinned to each day are the new prominent terms associated with Juholt with respect to the terms for the previous day.

The time period covered by Image 1 ranges from October 6 – 10, 2011. On October 6, the terms associated with Juholt are mainly concerned with the shadow budget proposed by the Social Democrats on the day before. The mention frequency is quite small, and the hatred expressed in relation to Juholt is not exceptional. October 7 is the day of publication of an article by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet claiming that Juholt had requested too much allowance for his residence. The mention frequency increases markedly, while the hatred is similar to the day before. Although still influenced by online discussion pertaining to the shadow budget, the terms associated with Juholt clearly show evidence of an affair in the making; the article by Aftonbladet has gained traction in the blogosphere. Saturday, October 8, shows further increase in mention frequency, which also tends to vary with the time-of-day. The graph also shows that the hatred is on the rise; bloggers are picking up on the reimbursements affair. This is also evident in the associated terms where Juholt is compared to a cameral mishap made by the former Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin in 1995 known as tobleroneaffären. The terms also reflect that the affair is about Juholt’s apartment, and that he will hold a press conference. Moving on to October 9, we see that the mention frequency, now clearly varying with the time-of-day, levels out. As does the hatred. The associated terms concern solidarity of Juholt, that his trust is declining, and also refers to the Swedish Prosecution Authority. Finally, Image 1 shows that, for October 10, the mention frequency is still high, and the hatred is rising markedly; the aversion vented in relation to Juholt is reaching high levels! The associated terms are related to crime (preliminary investigation, fraud, prosecution) and to politics (voters, party, resign, party leaders, citizens).

Image 1: The period covering the on-set of the affair. The terms for a given day in the image are the new terms associated with Håkan Juholt for that particular day.

Image 1: The period covering the on-set of the affair, October 6 - 10, 2011. The terms for a given day in the image are the new terms associated with Håkan Juholt for that particular day. Click the image for a larger version.

Moving on to a later part of the affair, Image 2 illustrates the period of October 15 – 19. The general trend regarding mention frequency for the period is that it is declining. The divergence between frequency and hatred is interesting, and the fact that the hatred rises as the mention frequency declines suggests that while people are talking less about Juholt, those who do are still very upset. Let’s look at the associated terms day-by-day. On October 15, the blogosphere is mainly about the media hunt for Juholt. October 16 concerns the “obivious” rules for accommodation reimbursements (calling editor-in-chief Jan Helin). October 17, again, concerns the rules, the intent of Juholt, and Sundbyberg, where Juholt held a meeting with his fellow party members. October 18 was about cheating and the form Juholt filled out when requesting the allowance. Finally, Image 2 ends with October 19, mentioning netroots and politometern, both being portals for political blogs, as well as the Swedish Radio.

Image 2: The period covering a later part of the affair, October 15 - 19, 2011. Click the image for a larger version.

Image 2: The period covering a later part of the affair, October 15 - 19, 2011. Click the image for a larger version.

The complete list of salient terms associated with Håkan Juholt for the period October 1 – 19 is available at http://www.gavagai.se/reports/juholt-october-2011/ Legend to the list: a blue term means it is new on the list, a red term means that the association between it and Juholt is weaker than it was before. Analogously, a green term means that its association with Juholt is stronger than it was before.

Category: case studies, featured post, sentiment analysis