Maharat and Data Aurora Launch “Lebanon Protests” Platform

The two Lebanese organisations Data Aurora and Maharat  Foundation  launched their interactive platform “Lebanon Protests”. An independent platform based on open data system that documents the demands of citizens and monitors the response of authorities. This platform also allows daily access to all data, statistics, and timelines related to the revolution, including discussions and engagements on social platforms all over the world, downloading and reusing them. The platform has been developed in a way that allows everyone to share and access data based on the freedom of expression and access to information rights.

Why this Platform?

It is a contribution in raising the voice of citizens and documenting their demands to draw the attention of authority and public opinion, and to get back to these demands for accountability, and follow up on decisions made and their relevance to the citizens’ demands.

The platform is a contribution to providing accessible data, based on the belief that open data is key component for transparency, fighting corruption, developing all sectors, and promoting scientific research.

What does the Platform Include?

The platform is based on gathering data based on hashtags that were used during the Lebanese revolution since 16th of October; the hashtags are included in the platform and can be reviewed in the “About the Revolution” section.

The platform has three main sections “Revolution Data”, “Interactive statistics platform”, and “Add your Demand”.

The “Revolution Data” section includes tables of daily tweets starting from the 16th of October2019, including all tweets details like the name of users, the tweet content, and the link; in addition to the mentioned accounts, their number, the hashtags and the geolocation.

The “Interactive statistics platform” includes a specific gathering of tweets through graphics that show the most used hashtags and their percentage, in addition to the most mentioned accounts in a simple visual way; and data on the accounts that contributed in the outreach of hashtags like the date of creation of the account, gender, and profession of user. The section allows users to choose the date of search and compare with other dates since the beginning of the revolution.

The “Add your Demand” section includes a timeline that monitor the responses of the government to the demands of citizens protesting against the current living conditions. Citizens can express their opinion and demands freely through choosing the demand category and including their detailed opinion. This section highlights the most prominent demands on the platform. A demand file can be uploaded to the platform without knowing the identity of users.

How to benefit?

This platform allows all researchers, students, journalists, activists, researchers, academics and media institutions and others to benefit from all uploaded open data related to the revolution in Lebanon and addressing them each according to the purpose of their work.

What are Open and Accessible Data?

This platform provides three kinds of open data as follows, table of tweets, table of demands and graphic of tweets, and their relevant attachments. The principle of open data is to disseminate data to the public in such a way that any user can use, reuse and share the data in a way that serves the purpose of their work.

Importance of your Contribution

This is an interactive platform, we call all concerned in analyzing and monitoring the revolution, the speeches and the peoples’ engagement to download the data sets that serve their work, addressing them, and making them available again to the public. We also call citizens to add their demands on the platform.

Protection of Users’ Privacy

The privacy of users is protected since the platform doesn’t gather any personal data, and registration is not required to add a demand or download any available data. The platform based the data collection on what is allowed by the policies of Twitter in regard of access to public accounts, hashtags and search options.

Ensuring Validity of data and Margins of Error

The data provided on the platform are based on the public data available on Twitter. As for the analytic graphs related to gender and professions, they are based on the use of intelligent tools that detects different indicators such as the name and profession mentioned in the account. An advanced scientific methodology is used with the demand section to ensure the validity of data.  The platform does not guarantee complete accuracy in this area, but considers that the demand sample will form a scientific indicator that can be built upon.

About Data Aurora:

Data Aurora is a team of Data Scientists, Industry Analysts and AI Researchers that believe in AI and Data Driven Transformation. Data Aurora team works with nonprofit and for-profit organizations for social good purposes towards enabling SDGs.

About Maharat:

Maharat is a Beirut based organization working on defending and promoting freedom of expression, access to information and respect for human rights. Maharat Foundation manages Maharat-news website and launched Digital Media Viability Lab to support independent media in the MENA region.