The Tunisia Effect: Who's Next?
By Chris on January 27, 2011
The blogosphere has been loaded with discussion on the potential for the government turnover in Tunisia to catalyze similar events throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Using Recorded Future, we can take a look at how public statements have shifted their focus on which country’s government might be next.
Consider the network graph below derived from “Quotation” event data mentioning Tunisia in content published between January 4 (when protestor Mohamed Bouazizi died) and January 14 (when deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abinine Ben Ali fled the country):
Notice the locations are represented in blue. We get Algeria connected to Tunisia as the country experienced similar protests against the government. Separately, we get references to US State Department official Philip Crowley making statements regarding the Tunisian shutdown of popular internet services during that time.
Moving to events immediately in the wake of former president Ben Ali’s departure, we can see a shift in the focus of “Quotation” events:
Now we get different locations bubbling up to the top including Egypt, which is pinned as the next government ripe for trouble, Tehran as comparisons to the Iranian revolution arise, and Switzerland as lawyers in the country are expected to free Ben Ali’s financial assets.
Changing once more to Quotation events about “Tunisia” from the last seven days, we see a new prominent node (Mayor) appear that is related to unrest emerging in Albania while Egypt also remains prominent:
Just a quick example of how analyzing online media in the wake of major geopolitical events can provide insight into how international attention shifts, where effects of a major event are felt most, and perhaps in this case, even provide indication of who will follow Tunisia.
You can see even more on overthrow of Tunisia’s government in the short video below (which highlights Jordan and Yemen as hot spots for unrest as well) that uses the Recorded Future treemap visualization to analyze events in the country over the past month:
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