Just being nice

It was a nice click bait title for an article “Canadians more upbeat than US neighbours, at least on Twitter“.  I thought it was a little bizarre because I’d never noticed it in my online circles.  But, they’re typically Computer Science and other educator types and they’re the best of the best. Now that’s not to say that we don’t have a private moment every now and again as we try to meet with the mind of the computer…

But the results from this study didn’t go unnoticed. There was lots of pickup on the concept!

In the news:

The polite Canadian is no stereotype. Tweets prove this (Huffington Post)

Study shows Canadians are more polite than Americans on Twitter (Global News)

Canadians really are nicer than Americans…on Twitter (MetroNews Canada)

Finally! Science proves that Canadians are way more polite than Americans (Vox)


As a Canadian, it was one of those feel good reads.  But then again, if we are more upbeat, it should be!

After all, the litmus test around here is to not say anything online that you wouldn’t say to your grandmother.  In the original article, some of the words are blurred.  That’s nice.

But, if you really want to see them, you can head over to the interactive engine itself which is online. 

Seeing the words unblurred really doesn’t add any more to the story so don’t dwell on that.  Instead, take a look at the pull down menu of words on the left.

Negative numbers indicate that the term is more likely to be used by Canadians.  Positive numbers, by Americans.  Hey…

To the right, you’ll see the terms plotted on the part of Ontario and the United States that surround the southern Great Lakes. 

It was interesting to play around with some of the words.  Quite frankly, there are some words there that I’m not the least bit interested in knowing where they came from and/or who sent them. 

The parameters of the study are interesting.  Generic words were removed and only Twitter messages that had a geo-tag were indexed to be searched and plotted.  To that end, it doesn’t necessarily include everyone.  I think I have geotagging turned off on any device that I use even though I still see a dot over my house on the map.  Reading the story and playing around with the tool was the motivation that I had to check out the settings on my Twitter account.  Have you checked yours lately?

OK, go ahead and play with the tool.  You know you want to.

If you have any additional awesome thoughts, I’d be very interested in hearing them.

1 thought on “Just being nice

  1. Pingback: OTR Links 01/12/2016 | doug --- off the record

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