Tuesday 25 October 2016

All that Twitters is not gold

Published 19/08/2015 | 02:30

TWitter is a wonderful tool, but can it predict a bank run?

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This is what analysts at the Bank of England tried to do when they analysed tweets from September last year. The exercise began after Scotland voted to remain within the UK. While the "Better Together" campaign ultimately won out, it was no sure thing in the run up to the vote.

The idea of Scotland leaving the union had sparked worries in the City about a bank run in the aftermath.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) considered moving its corporate home to England, the London Stock Exchange looked at the possibility of setting up a Scottish stock market.

So it was understandable for the Bank of England to go back and analyse Twitter to learn if it would help predict financial issues in the future.

Instead, the Bank leaned a lot about the Minnesota Vikings American football team.

The analysts searched for terms including words such as "runs" and "RBS" early on September 15, which happened to coincide with the Minnesota Vikings running backs (RBs) making "runs" against the New England Patriots.

Clearly Twitter has its limits.

Irish Independent

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