Building a national surveillance system

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April 08, 2020

A group of local researchers are hoping that policymakers will look to publicly available Twitter data for hints about whether people are respecting social distancing policies.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins, George Washington University and the University of Maryland analyzed 3.7 million users and more than 400 million tweets. Posts outside users' expected “home” region were down 52 percent between March 16 and March 29, compared to the period between January 2019 and March 2020, suggesting that they’re heeding stay at home orders — or at least not posting about breaking them.

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