Research & Insights we find interesting and think you will, too.

Elderly Voters and Election 20204.pdf

The fitness of the elderly to vote are potential targets of social media disinformation

 Published April 23, 2023 

The article warns that, heading into the 2024 elections, there may be increasing attempts across social media to cast doubt on the validity of votes by the elderly.

Cabbage vs Kale Recipe Trends.pdf

Comparing Recipe Trends: Cabbage Recipes vs Kale Recipes

Published March 17, 2024 

This data summary compares the count of social and news media posts of Cabbage Recipes and Kale Recipes from 2022 through Mid March 2024 overall and compares them by shared mention categories.

We wished to test a hypothesis: Cabbage recipe mentions have increased compared to kale recipe mentions over the past two years

The hypothesis was formed based on inflating food prices and cabbage’s relatively low unit cost in the supermarket grocery aisle. We compared it to kale because both are plentiful in groceries in the U.S. and were curious to see any effect on kale’s earlier surge in popularity. 

Shared categories for each were created such as Taste, Nutrition, Convenience, and Budget Friendliness. Interesting trends were unearthed that suggest further areas for research exploration that could be useful for anyone involved in food production, marketing, distribution, preparation, nutritional counseling and more. Click the preview image to read and download, free.

Foresters on Social Media.pdf

Exploring the Sylvan Realm of Foresters and Forestry

Published February 27, 2024

This report explores the social insights that can be gleaned about the professional forestry community through their online discourse. The research reveals a fascinating business, government, academic and socio/cultural ecosystem of experts. It offers analysis on the nature of forestry as an agricultural industry, a land management activity, and as a generative activity as part of the solution to our current climate and biodiversity problems. You might be surprised how broad the community is. 

Among the takeaways you'll find in this report: If you’re interested in growing an online following that reacts to your work, stay true in your posting activity to your account’s social media biography. Those who posted around their areas of expertise had higher engagement compared to those whose post topics didn’t match their biographies. The opposite inference is important: Be sure your biography matches your post contents. If you post on forestry and your biography doesn’t mention the word forests or forestry, you may be losing visibility opportunities.  Download free the full report and contact us for more information.

Unofficial and User Generated Barbie Generative AI Imagery.pdf

Barbie: Unofficial and User Generated A.I. Imagery

Published August 21, 2023

We took a look at what happened and what might it mean when the pop trend #Barbie trend interseected with the online public now armed with easy to use generative A.I. tools like Dall-E 2, Midjourney CapCut, or Stable Diffusion.

We start the report with some summary insights and its potential implications to individuals, to businesses, and to the broader general culture. Then you will find the underlying analysis containing many whimsical images but also some disturbing imagery, too. The analysis suggests the difficulties we will continue to face with the widespread adoption of generative artificial intelligence 

Micro-mobility Battery Fires.pdf

Micro-Mobility Battery Fires Insight and Implications

Published July 5, 2023

Tragic fires attributed to, sometimes incorrectly, e-bike and e-scooter batteries and charging practices, has resulted in a surge in social and other media discussion. 

Our first insight is that micro-mobility sits squarely at the intersection of consumer  product safety, decarbonization, public transport, workers rights, and regulatory debates. As a transport option, it risks becoming another point of polarization in the media culture wars. 

This introductory overview more insights and implications on discussion trends, their content sources, geography of the U.S. discussion, insights around micro-mobility detractors and advocates, the perception of e-commerce retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba, and positive and negative anecdotes directed towards specific e-bike brands. 

Reddit API Crisis Research Brief.pdf

Reddit's API Community Crisis

Published June 20, 2023

Reddit's decision to update their API access caused a revolt among their volunteer subreddit moderator (mods) community. At one point well over 8,000 their subreddits (individual forums at Reddit) were private or restricted for viewing or posting. At issue was the API fees to be imposed on third-party developers, many of whom have improved the Reddit experience for some of those who love the platform, including the mods who prefer these apps for maintaining community order. 

This post offers data, insights and thoughts for consideration. A version was originally published on June 15th, 2023 at LinkedIn and has been updated with some of the news since then. 

Categories of Bias Mention in AI.pdf

What do we know about the reality and perception of biases in AI within social media discussion?

Published April 12, 2023

AI holds promise in helping solve problems in health, transportation, sustainability and much, much more. But perils abound as well. These include privacy & surveillance, work & automation, and intellectual property rights. Among the most concerning is the reality and perceptions of bias in the training input and the output. Biased results fuel mistrust in the technology. Much more importantly, bias and perceptions of bias promote mistrust in the people and institutions behind the development and deployment of AI systems

We created this bias measurement to introduce a wider understanding of the cultural landscape and invite you to more deeply explore the specifics to aid in decisions to  build (or not build) or deploy (or not) AI solutions that are trustworthy and empower people.

SVB Timeline.pdf

Early social media signals portended the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank

Published March 23rd, 2023

Our review of the Social Media posts around Silicon Valley Bank’s failure revealed warnings of its insolvency by independent analysts that stretched back into the summer of 2022. Our analysis found that meaningful signals were missed or ignored, suggests the risk mismatch of crypto exposure with mainstream banking activities, and highlights the importance of integrity and transparency in bank and regulator communications. 

Sierras-Tahoe Weather Update.pdf

What we found in the social media conversation about the continuing, snow, rain and ensuing floods in California

Published March17th, 2023 

The snow, rain and flooding continued due to the Atmospheric Rivers impacting California. Our report overviewed what drove the social media conversation with specific insights on the most engaging content across TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and more, who created it, the quality of the information presented and what can be learned from it. 

Bing Chat is not having a good week.pdf

Bing Chat is Not Having a Good Week

Published 16 February, 2023

Microsoft opened Bing Chat to beta testers. The early testing revealed frankly strange tendencies towards its own righteousness mixed with an earnest desire to be the most intimate of friends, but friends on its own terms. Read more.

Deepfake Awareness.pdf

Detecting Deepfake Images

Published February 8th, 2023

This post is inspired by the article in the New York Times that is based on research by social intelligence experts Graphika.  We build upon both with a human analysis of the facial features in the video that is useful in detecting deep fake images, whether in still or video formats. A follow-up slide points to useful resources working in the same or associated spaces. 

September Institutional Trust Index.pdf

Continuing lack of faith in the Supreme Court, The Justice System highlight September Trust Index 

Published 15 October, 2022 

The important September story is the low confidence mentions around the impartiality of the Supreme Court. Two narratives predominated: 

Confidence in The President fell on the abuse of power narrative about “the Biden DOJ” and the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. At the same time, the political left’s discourse about a corrupt “bought a paid for” federal judicial branch, singling out Judge AileenCannon, added to the continued low sentiment score in the The Justice System category.  

The popularity of Former President Barack Obama enabled a surge in positive “faith in democracy” during early September remarks that praised President Biden’s leadership but did not translate into  an increase of confidence, faith, or trust in The President as a leader. 

August Institutional Trust Index.pdf

Improved Trust scores in Democracy, Congress, and the President highlights Trust Index #2

Published 8 September, 2022 

Research Tree’s second monthly edition of our Trust Index in U.S. Institutions ticked up in most measures with marked improvements in the Democracy/Elections/Government and Congress categories. The FBI’s raid in search of federal documents at the Mar-a-Lago resort home of the former president and the ramping up of congressional campaigns heading into the November elections were important to the lift in each. Continuing confusion around public health guidance related to COVID-19 led to a decrease in the already low score in The U.S. Healthcare categoryThe category score for The President improved 0.9 points on legislative victories and international polling.  Click on the doc for much more detail. 

EVs and the Inflation Reduction Act.pdf

Electric Vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act

Published 25 August, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act contains powerful incentives to address climate change and many of the interrelated issues that surround it. An Electric Vehicle tax credit of up to $7,500 is among the most important incentives. We reviewed the social media discussion around the tax credit to learn how it was received, who drove the volume and sentiment towards it, and how it affected the perception towards the most mentioned auto brands.

July Institutional Trust Index.pdf

Our inaugural trust Trust Index found faith in U.S. civic institutions in generally deep distress

Published 1 August, 2022

Overall, the index indicates that the trust discussion is generally quite negative. The highest discussion volume was around the trust  and mistrust that is held in democratic institutions including confidence in elections and the rule of law. Even the most highly regarded institutions this month, such as Small Businesses and Labor Unions, often appeared in the context of other institutions that were held in lower esteem thus lowering the overall sentiment. 

Joni Mitchell at Newport.pdf

Joni Mitchell at Newport

Published 25 July, 2022

A quantitative one pager noting the impact of the beloved artist's appearance at the legendary Newport Folk Festival.  Joni Mitchell's appearance was met with joy, surprise and more bittersweet emotions from fans who appreciated the privilege of being in the same space and time with her.

Inflation Online Thematic Discussion Review.pdf

Price Inflation: Online Thematic Discussion Review

Published 7 July, 2022

Price inflation has been causing widespread public anxiety for the present and future manifesting just as the worst of the pandemic appeared to be behind us and real wages were increasing for the first time in decades. The research sought to understand how thematic trends about inflation in the U.S. have changed since the online discussion started its upward trajectory in the spring of 2021.  

We found that inflation has entered the culture wars in unfortunately predictable ways.  The research should offer strategists and policy experts a new perspective to the online debate that we hope will be leveraged to improve the national conversation around economic opportunity and policy.  

Copy of How to start a risk and crisis social and digital monitoring program.pdf

How to start a social and digital media risk monitoring program

Published 14 July, 2022

Social and digital media content awareness should extend to the many forms of risk that are particular to your organization or business. At the top of risk list are harms to people, property, operational, and reputation risk. This brief will help you get started constructing and maintaining an online defensive monitoring program and situating it within a broader risk awareness and crisis management process.