London is a mega city like no other on earth. Made up of a vast array of ethnicities, personalities and beliefs, the 8.7 million people divided between 33 boroughs make London one of the most unique and exciting cities you can visit.
Now, if you’re from London, you’ll know that each borough has its own stereotype. Haringey and the North of London is the cultured and intellectual borough. Chelsea and the West of London is the posh and cosmo borough. And the South of London? Well, the southern boroughs like Lewisham, Lambeth and Croydon are the, shall we say, “up and coming” boroughs.
The thing about stereotypes though is that they are exactly that – stereotypes – and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re true. Is Camden really full of Amy Winehouse fans and ageing former members of nineties pop bands? Is the City really a desolate wasteland where nobody actually lives, not even bankers? And is Merton just the borough where the rich grow children?
To find out, we’ve turned to Twitter. Removing the obvious spam tweets, we’ve analysed the most used hashtags in each borough. The idea behind the project is that the most used hashtags will give you an idea of the type of issues or concerns each borough faces and consequently a pattern will emerge revealing the borough’s personality.
So why did we use Twitter? Well, you see, Twitter is like no other social media platform. Its user base varies with both millennials and baby boomers tweeting alike. It prioritises the delivery of short, written content instead of photographs like Instagram. And, most importantly, it’s not a constant stream of baby photos like Facebook.
For further information and to access the raw dataset please read the methodology at the end of this article.
Camden and Chelsea. A mere (decent) stone throw from each other across Hyde and Regent Park. Even with such a short distance, the two boroughs have fairly different personalities when analysed through hashtags. Camden’s hashtags feature artsy phrases like #livemusic, #community and #streetphoto. Chelsea and Kensington on the other hand, seem to be far more focused on sporting phrases using #cfc and #chelseafc quite frequently, while there is also notably a huge focus on the saddening events in Kensington this July.
While Croydon’s hashtags are quite concerning to say the least, Greenwich’s hashtags are far more rosy. The difference is quite staggering actually. Croydon has #murder, #police and #stabbing among their routine hashtags, while Greenwich's favourites include #cake, #summer and #heritage.
It’s an East of London vs West London showdown. Hackney vs Hammersmith. How do they compare? Interestingly, if you’re a vegan then you will definitely fancy a visit to Hackney. If you’re not a vegan, then you may enjoy the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Not only do they seem to enjoy #sushi, but they love #eatin.
From the East vs the West of London to the North vs South. How do they compare? Well, Haringey seems to be focused on issues such as #socialcleansing, #antisemitism and #foodbanks, while the Borough of Lewisham seems to have an artsy focus with phrases like #photography, #londonart and #music dominating their hashtags.
Another North vs South analysis, Islington seems to have a love for everything fitness, fine haircuts and Arsenal football club. Lambeth on the other hand seems to be much more focused on corruption, the police and Theresa May. Interesting.
Southwark. The home of the Shard, Tate Modern and Borough Market. But what’s got Southwark talking? Well, there seems to be a serious interest in #childkidnapping and #childabuse, while they also seem to be concerned about an #abuseofpower and #foodbanks. Newham on the other hand is a mixture of concern for #homelessness, #cricket and #acidattacks
The borough of Tower Hamlets and Westminster. Separated only by the City of London. The smallest of margins. But how do their personalities compare? While Tower Hamlets seems to be tweeting about #gangs, #acidattacks and #socialcleansing, Westminster is focused on political issues like #brexit, #healthcare and #veterans. Interestingly, Tower Hamlets was the only borough who had a non-English phrase appear in the top 10 hashtags.
This study is based on approximately 1 million tweets from the Greater London region. Tweets interpreted to be spam have been removed. The interpretation of spam included hashtags such as: #cleaners, #jobs, #careers and #sale, or tweets interpreted to be sent by bots or automated accounts. To access the raw data set please contact email@example.com or download the data set here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mnE721xlfzymhya1mbC71TaK6IQ5AAv4ZVq_da3ukKU/edit#gid=2013873683
Please note: The Original Tour acknowledges that the information included in this blog is based on their interpretation of the data presented.
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