Supreme Court Health Care Ruling
This special report by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism on the news coverage surrounding the Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care employed media research methods that combine PEJ's content analysis rules developed over more than a decade with computer coding software developed by Crimson Hexagon. This report is based on separate examinations of more than 2 million tweets, 10,000 blog posts and nearly 50,000 Facebook posts in order to look at the amount and frame of the conversation related to the ruling.
Crimson Hexagon is a software platform that identifies statistical patterns in words used in online texts. Researchers enter key terms using Boolean search logic so the software can identify relevant material to analyze. PEJ draws its analysis samples from several million blogs, all public Twitter posts and a random sample of publicly available Facebook posts. Then a researcher trains the software to classify documents using examples from those collected posts. Finally, the software classifies the rest of the online content according to the patterns derived during the training.
According to Crimson Hexagon: "Our technology analyzes the entire social internet (blog posts, forum messages, Tweets, etc.) by identifying statistical patterns in the words used to express opinions on different topics." Information on the tool itself can be found at http://www.crimsonhexagon.com/ and the in-depth methodologies can be found here http://www.crimsonhexagon.com/products/whitepapers/.
Crimson Hexagon measures text in the aggregate and the unit of measure is the ‘statement' or assessment, not the post or Tweet. One post or Tweet can contain more than one statement if multiple ideas are expressed. The results are determined as a percentage of the overall conversation.
The time frame for the analysis is June 28 10:15 a.m. EST through July 1 11:59 p.m. EST, 2012.
PEJ used Boolean searches to narrow the universe to relevant posts. Common terminology posted by users varies for each platform. Therefore, PEJ used slightly different search filters for each.
For Blogs, PEJ used the following search filter:
(ACA OR obamacare OR "obama care" OR "affordable care act" OR (("supreme court" OR scotus OR roberts) AND (healthcare OR "health care" OR "health insurance" OR "individual mandate")
For Twitter and Facebook, the search filter was:
(health OR insurance OR "supreme court" OR SCOTUS OR mandate OR Obamacare OR Romneycare OR reform OR Repeal OR Medicine OR Scalia OR Roberts OR "chief justice" OR "pre-existing" OR preexisting OR HC OR ACA OR "affordable care act" OR "Medicaid" OR "Sup Crt" OR Upheld OR fullrepeal OR Canada OR verrilli OR tax OR constitutional)