Basic Twitter research tools
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Howdy, stranger!

This humble toolkit gives a quick and dirty view of a Twitter user's recent timeline history, including basic account info, a Top 20 list of (mostly noncommon) the words they've used, and a list of the named entities (i.e. proper nouns including people, places, organizations, and so on) they've mentioned in their last 100 tweets.

How to use

Easy peasy. Just invoke "python" at the command line and it'll prompt you for the screenname to investigate.

Easy tweaks to be made

  • Add more "blacklist" words to filter out by editing common_words.txt (for my own purposes I've left "RT" in there for now, but there are better ways to get a sense of how much an account is retweeting vs. tweeting which I hope to add in a later version)
  • Change the number of tweets to fetch from the user timeline in, or make this a parameter you can pass in like the screenname
  • Change the display layout to consolidate the view or remove parts of the user account info you're not interested in, etc.
  • Add another "blacklist" to filter out specific entities from the 3rd part of the display, or add a "whitelist" to specifically look for tracked entities
  • Store the data for later parsing (coming in a future version -- for now, keeping things simple...)

Fun things to look for

  • Some users show a mismatch between their location as stated in their profile, and the time zone set privately in their settings (the former is displayed publicly while the latter is not) -- this is useful for sniffing out trolls and/or bots masquerading as citizens of someplace else.
  • If the 'contributors' flag is set to True (rare), then multiple individuals are expressly allowed to manage this account.