Social Media Content Mining for Social Improvement

On my drive in to work, I heard a story by Cheryl Corley, an NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. “When Social Media Fuels Gang Violence” tells of the use of social media by gang members in a practice called “cyber banging.” Social media is being used by gang members to promote themselves and their gang, and to issue taunts to other gangs. These posts go beyond the digital realm and have resulted in retaliation deaths. Cheryl reported, “This year, [Chicago] police say cyber banging fueled the death of another Chicago rapper.”

It has also been widely reported that social media is a vehicle for cyber bullying. Chicago police have been working to monitor the social media sites and partner with schools and counselors to address some of the violence. Meanwhile, at the university level, research is being done to decode the language that could send triggers to officials working in those neighborhoods.

As I listened to all of this, I thought, how do you monitor all those social media sites and all of the posts out there? What came to mind is that there are tools out there used by business to monitor those same social media sites for managing comments about their products and services, such as Cisco’s SocialMiner.

“Cisco SocialMiner is a social media customer care solution that can help you proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, or other public forums or blogging sites. By providing social media monitoring, queuing, and workflow to organize customer posts on social media networks and deliver them to your social media customer care team, your company can respond to customers in real time using the same social network they are using.” [From the Cisco website]

Now, this is written from the standpoint of business but if your “customers” are gang members posting to social media and by monitoring the sites, SocialMiner can relay the information to the “social media customer care team,” aka police and civil violence protection authorities, a product intended to improve business can also aid in the curbing of gang violence through intervention.