Twitter Analysis Shows YouTubers at Center of Racist Harassment Against The Rings of Power Cast

Top used words mentioning @LOTRonPrime and @starwars, respectively, where min frequency = 500
48% (48 out of 99 accounts) of Twitter accounts followed by Twitter users commenting negatively towards @LOTRonPrime gained their popularity on YouTube vs. only 2% (2 out of 84 accounts) of Twitter accounts followed by Twitter users commenting positively towards @LOTRonPrime
  • Nerdrotic (followed by 27% of top negative accounts)
  • Drunk3P0 (followed by 27% of top negative accounts)
  • The Quartering (followed by 20% of top negative accounts)
  • That Star Wars Girl (followed by 20% of top negative accounts)
  • RK Outpost (followed by 18% of top negative accounts)
  • MauLer (followed by 18% of top negative accounts)
  • Geeks and Gamers (followed by 17% of top negative accounts)
  • Clownfish TV (followed by 12% of top negative accounts)
  • Doomcock (followed by 12% of top negative accounts)
  • ComicArtistPro Secrets (followed by 11% of top negative accounts)
For months, YouTubers including Nerdrotic, The Quartering, Geeks and Gamers, Clownfish TV, and RK Outpost have been releasing videos against diversity in The Rings of Power
Followers of far-right YouTubers harass fans of color for celebrating inclusion of non-white actors in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Methodology

Data Collection

All Twitter data was collected using a python script from Github. Tweets were collected between September 1 and September 10 for the search term “@LOTRonPrime.” Tweets analyzed included English language tweets only. Total tweets analyzed = 58,388.

Sentiment Classification

Tweets were reviewed manually using the following guidelines:

  1. A tweet was “positive” if it was 1) praising the show in any way, including writing, pacing, visuals or other production decisions (in tweets where a certain production element may have received praise, but the comment ultimately criticized the show, the tweet was counted as negative); 2) coming to the defense of the show’s actors, the show’s fans, or the show’s production decisions; 3) coming to the defense of Tolkien’s or Tolkien’s family’s intentions and beliefs; 4) any positive sentiment about The Lord of The Rings franchise including celebrating cosplays; 5) any other comment that could be viewed as positive towards the show including excitement from cast members about their role in the show
  2. A tweet was “neutral” if it 1) did not fall into any of the criteria above; 2) was a media announcement; 3) did not have enough context to be included because context had been deleted or account providing context had been suspended

Network Analysis

If a tweet was found to be either negative or positive, the username’s following was extracted from the Twitter API in order to analyze patterns in networks of Twitter users posting positive comments mentioning @LOTRonPrime vs. negative comments mentioning @LOTRonPrime.

YouTuber Classification

Once the network analysis was complete, the list of accounts followed by one or more Twitter users with top engaged tweets mentioning @LOTRonPrime were aggregated in Tableau. The following formula was used to calculate the percentage of total users following a given account: [COUNT(Twitter User Followed)]/[Total Number of Distinct Twitter Accounts Mentioning @LOTRonPrime for Sentiment Classification x]. This formula was then grouped by account followed (see circle graphs above).

Data Visualizations

Data visualizations for this network analysis were created using Tableau.

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