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Make github great again

An analysis of github commit messages

Having noticed it for myself recently I wanted to see if the big media coverage of Donald Trump's campaign had an influence on how people write commit messages. My assumption was that one would be able to see a spike in commit subjects that follow the pattern make ... again or in regex ^make .* again$ after the middle of 2015 when Trump got more and more popular.

I used the data published by github on google bigquery (blogpost) to analyze all public commit messages.

The main script that I used to query is make_great_again_count.sql. It filters the commit messages by subject and then gets the daily count. Looking at the data coming out of this one can see that there is indeed an increase in messages following the pattern but I assumed that the same was true for all commits as github just became more and more popular.

So I also queried the count of all commit messages (new_commit_count.sql and old_commit_count.sql) and joined those later. I did it in two steps because doing all in one was too much for bigquery to export as a single csv and I did not want to setup google cloud storage.

Finally I wrote a small ipython notebook script ( that combines all three csv files (old commits, new commits, trump commits) and plotted the data:

Plot of the data

As you can see I decided to only plot data after 2006. This is a random choice but I just did not want to go back too far in history. I also resampled to one week to get smoother results.

When looking at the plot now we come to the conclusion: Trump has not brainwashed people as much as I thought. They at least still seem to not think of him any more then before when writing commit messages.


When explicitly looking for the regex ^make .* great again$' an interesting observation can be made: As one would expect there are much fewer results (only 57 in total) but they do seem to correlate with Trump getting popular. The very first commit message that follows the pattern (being Make "arc land" great again) appears on 2015-10-28 with all others coming after that point in time. So maybe Trump did have some influence afterall.

Plot of the make great again data

Thanks to @derhuerst for the suggestion!

Update II

If we change the regex to not include border checks (so change it it make .* great again) we get a total of 136 commits and can clearly see that this is a trend that was introduced by Trump:

Plot of the make great again data without border conidtions


See if people on github are influenced by Trump






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