Social Media and Poppy burning #Poppies #PoppiesBurning #muslims #SM #PoppyBurning

So you’be propbably heard the event of what the press call “fanatics” burning poppy during the Remembrance Day. Of course the Twitter-sphere reacted to it quickly as usual. I think that though this may be subject to controverse, real-time sentiment analysis in this case clearly goes against relativists and politically-correct prejudices


Source of the image :

To sum up the arguments often presented in a nutshell , there are the notions that :

• Media always decide to present extremists muslims because it sells more.

• People with moderate opinions  ,that are believed to represent and to form the majority are left into silence, but would condemn any violent acts if given the chance to speak-out.

Good or bad social media and the internet allows people to broadcast themselves and their opinion. These voices are most of the time lost and drown into the thick stream of information. But when it comes to Social Media it is relatively easy to focus and curate people reactions by concentrating our attention on certain keywords.

I have used different keywords for this little “experience”, like :

• muslim poppies

• poppies burning

• muslim against

• poppy burning

You can test these terms on any real time search engine no hashtags are really needed.

So at this time if you are monitoring the feed you should have come up with a re-tweet of this particular status update :

The protesters who burnt poppies are disgusting, but please remember all Muslims aren’t like that! I’m a Muslim, but against their beliefs.Thu Nov 11 17:49:36 via Echofon

But to be honest not much, there is quasi no reaction from  muslims on social networks .
Don’t mark my words for it see for yourself on Collecta : (again any real time search engine will do )

Most of the tweet from the muslims talking about this subject are not here to condemn this act (as most westerners condemned the Qu’ran burning day) but to minimize or justify them :

RT @lowkeyuk: Seriously if you get upset over the burning of a poppy but NOT the burning of two countries, then you need to question you …Fri Nov 12 06:49:27 via Twitter for BlackBerry®

R.I.P to innocent people who died cos of war OK.Thu Nov 11 10:33:08 via Twitter for BlackBerry®

@AH_89 The burning was a reaction to Britain’s oppressive foreign policy. This is the lesson people refuse to learn or acknowledge.Fri Nov 12 02:02:55 via web

Or simply to say stop the generalisation and that they should not be stigmatised because of the foolishness of a minority.

I didn’t burn no poppies, I don’t disrespect the dead – Muslim or not. So why are all Muslims being insulted?!Fri Nov 12 01:00:53 via web

When people wanted to burn the Qur’an, I didn’t care. Yes, it was disrespectful but it doesn’t affect my belief and I still have my copy.Fri Nov 12 00:58:41 via web

There is a lot of problems here, the first being the fact that this person do not condemn these acts but says that once again they are the real victims . The problem being also who is she referring too . If the so called moderate majority never speaks out then it doesn’t exist as a group and we should stop considering it as such.

But each time  an islamic symbol is considered under attack there is much more reactions from the muslim community which could tend to prove that contrary to popular beliefs the silence majority can join radicals on a vast number of subjects.

What we can learn from all this :

• Generally speaking the muslim online reaction to the poppy burning has been quasi null.

• The most vocal reactions came from people justifying these acts or taking the victimised attitude.

• One of the only voice condemning frankly these acts ( the first tweet that I embedded ) has been re-tweeted numerous times in the last 13 hours,  But it must be stressed that it has been re-tweeted by non-muslims .

How can we interpret this absence of reactions :

• The basic explanation could be that they simply don’t care

But other controversial or funny explanations can be made :

• Moderate muslims though they form a vast majority are not on the Internet.

• In their great wisdom they refuse to give such foolishness too much importance so they won’t react .

• They don’t voice their opinion because of the fear of retaliation (it could be probable).

Further remarks :

One could ask how can I determine who is  or is not muslim ?

> The answer is simple at 99% muslim have muslim name that they live in North Pole, USA, Nigeria or Indonesia . Some smart-asses could argue that this approximation is not true because it doesn’t take into account the opinion of converts, again when someone converts to Islam he must take an islamic name, one of the most famous case being Mohamed Ali, so this is not a problem at all.

> This empiric “study” have been made using 3 notable social networks :

• Twitter

• Facebook

• Google Buzz

I don’t have statistics about how many users decide to have their Facebook updates published publicly, but it seems that this percentage is low. So though I monitored these three networks , the global image is more a reflection of the Twitter sphere opinion.

> With regard to how many muslims actually use social networks to voice their opinion it would be interesting to see how many react to certain event that they find offensive online .

Obvious events like :

• South Park Muhammed depiction

• Danish caricatures

• Q’ran burning day

My bet is that they will react in mass to such events .

One may question the seriousness of this little “study”, I don’t claim it is a scientific one, but it is without a doubt the direction to aim for and the tools are there.

The truth that some media want us to universally acknowledge is that violence is rejected by the vast majority, though of course they have no evidence to back up their claims. What I have found from my last observations is that at best they do not care at all.

The recent surveys in the UK regarding Sharia law have all showed that it is far from being a marginal sentiment. If we combine traditional surveys with real-time sentiment data we could obtain a never achieved-before precise image of the situation.

Of course it could be applied to any social/ethnic/ religious group .

There is ton of people claiming that they are professional in real-time sentiment analysis, maybe this is time for them to make their job and prove me wrong 😉

I am pretty sure this will be really interesting . !

Again I am not a specialist and I have no pretension in that field !

Other article that kept my attention in the Daily Mail today was this :


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: