Internet Geographer


Mapping tweets about the Kenyan presidential debate

Yesterday saw the first ever televised presidential debate in Kenya. The debate was not only carried across a range of tv and radio stations, but was also live-streamed on YouTube and was actively discussed on Twitter under the #KeDebate13 and #KeDebate hashtags (and perhaps others).

Because Kenya is one of Africa’s most active sites of Twitter usage, I thought it would be useful to map out the geographies of geocoded tweets about the debate. With a bounding box around the continent, we collected 2321 geocoded tweets mentioning #KeDebate13 and #KeDebate (between the afternoon of the 12th and the morning of the 13th). 

Most of these tweets were unsurprisingly in Kenya. Of those tweets, only Nairobi saw a significant cluster of activity. In the maps below, we map tweets mentioning #KeDebate13 and #KeDebate in Nairobi: revealing some of the urban geographies of participation in the Twitter debate.  

We see that some parts of the city (downtown, Madaraka, Kileleshwa, Kimathi, Royasmbu etc) are clearly central in the online discussion, while others barely show up (e.g. take a look at Kibera). I’ll dive into the data a bit more to see whether we are seeing clusters of friends tweeting in these areas (and look at what they are saying), but in the meantime wanted to share the maps in case anyone has initial insights into these patterns.

See also:
Mapping Twitter in African cities