Using Twitter to Predict the Future?

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Can Twitter predict the future? This is a topic that has been discussed and researched almost as many times as global warming.Everybody is always looking for that crystal ball, to break the bank, beat the house or to simply be first to put something on that microblog.

So what do we get from all these researches? We have seen predictions:

  • about the predidential elections
  • whether a movie will be a hit or a bust
  • outcomes of sports matches
  • the way of the stock exchange

The funny thing is this; even though a lot of papers have been written about the accomplishments achieved with Twitter and prediction, just as much research has been done disproving these claims.

So what is the morale here. I still believe that Twitter is not or ever will be a crystal ball in any way. Sure it will give you an incline of what is going on but a human mind and insight will always be needed to verify the outcome.

RTreporter has the same issue. We would like to tell you that fire will break out beforehand but it simply not possible. The police can of course be alerted in an early stage concerning talk about riots, but the expert will have to asses the level of threat. That will be their advantage not to predict the threat but being able to asses a situation in an early stage before it escalates.

The morale here is nobody can predict the future but we can give you as much information in an early stage to make a well-considered decision.


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