National security and social media monitoring: a presentation of the emotive and related systems

Today social media streams, such as Twitter, represent vast amounts of 'real-time' daily streaming data. Topics on these streams cover every range of human communication, ranging from banal banter, to serious reactions to events and information sharing regarding any imaginable product, item or entity. It has now become the norm for publicly visible events to break news over social media streams first, and only then followed by main stream media picking up on the news. It has been suggested in literature that social-media are a valid, valuable and effective real-time tool for gauging public subjective reactions to events and entities. Due to the vast big-data that is generated on a daily basis on social media streams, monitoring and gauging public reactions has to be automated and most of all scalable - i.e. human, expert monitoring is generally unfeasible. In this paper the EMOTIVE system, a project funded jointly by the DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and EPSRC, which focuses on monitoring fine-grained emotional responses relating to events of national security importance, will be presented. Similar systems for monitoring national security events are also presented and the primary traits of such national security social media monitoring systems are introduced and discussed.