This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Humanitarian and public institutions are increasingly relying on data from social media sites to measure public attitude, and provide timely public engagement. Such engagement supports the exploration of public views on important social issues such as gender-based violence (GBV). In this study, we examine Big (Social) Data consisting of nearly fourteen million tweets collected from the Twitter platform over a period of ten months to analyze public opinion regarding GBV, highlighting the nature of tweeting practices by geographical location and gender. The exploitation of Big Data requires the techniques of Computational Social Science to mine insight from the corpus while accounting for the influence of both transient events and sociocultural factors. We reveal public awareness regarding GBV tolerance and suggest opportunities for intervention and the measurement of intervention effectiveness assisting both governmental and non-governmental organizations in policy development
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