22,348 bin Laden Tweets: Coded!

It took all of three days for 27 individuals from around the country (and maybe the world) to collectively code 22,348 Tweets that mentioned Osama bin Laden, following his assassination. This crowdsourcing feat, sponsored by the Qualitative Data Analysis Program at UMASS Amherst, was the first of its kind. Tasked with assessing the humor of each tweet, our participants included students, out of work comedians, former comedians, couch potatoes, professors, and even a few productive elements of society.

Given our objective to find the funniest bin Laden tweet out there, we are now tasked with wading through the mass of human decision-making completed in DiscoverText. And thanks to the phenomenal crowd of coders that made this project possible, we can easily discard unpleasant tweets such as:

 “Bin Laden was a coward and a piece of sh*t. He deserves no respect. Feel free to spit on his f*cking grave. #obl


“With all due respect @BarackObama we could care less about Bin Laden.. Why is gas still $4 a gallon?”hahaha omg”

…And start laughing at tweets like:

“Yes Bin Laden is killed by American forces but more importantly when will the Playstation Network be up?”


“R.I.P Osama Bin Laden – World Hide And Go Seek Champion (2001 – 2011)” champion tweet .. Omg xD”

Stay tuned for more information on this project or sign up for the QDAP crowdsourcing listserv at https://list.umass.edu/mailman/listinfo/crowdsource.

About Josh Sowalsky

Josh Sowalsky is the Director of User Support at Texifter, where he has worked since September 2010. He holds two degrees in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from UMASS Amherst, where he minored in History, Arabic, and International Relations. While at UMASS Josh designed and taught an advanced course that examined the intersection of technological development and national identity formation. Serving also as a research assistant in the UMASS Political Science department, he researched and published articles on electoral politics and political dissent in Jordan. Josh has conducted and presented multilingual field research on civil society development, democratization, and national identity formation throughout the Middle East - namely in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. His honors thesis was entitled, "The Role of Women's Rights NGOs in Syrian Democratization." When not managing projects in QDAP or harvesting Arabic protest tweets in DiscoverText, Josh can be found strumming a ukulele, exploring Netflix, or swinging aimlessly at tennis balls.
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