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Twitter tool developed in UK by Lougborough University to gauge mood of the nation

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By Stephen Lepitak, -

September 8, 2013 | 2 min read

Twitter is being used by Scientists at Lougborough University to map the mood of the nation.

The team at the University has developed the Twitter based tool, Emotive, which will scan up to 2,000 tweets a second and rate them across eight human emotions.

The tweets are distinguished for showing signs of fear, surprise, shame, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness or confusion, and could be used to help police predict criminal behaviour.

Prof Tom Jackson, who is leading the team, highlighted the recent murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich and the reaction the public conveyed to it.

"Across the country people expressed their emotions at this unprovoked attack, with some using the incident to incite racial hatred against Muslims,” he explained.

"Two days after his murder his family appealed for calm, stating that their son would not have wanted his name to be used as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.

"This appeal had an almost immediate effect, leading to an outpour of positive sentiment."

Only the UK is currently being tracked at present using Emotive, which was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

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