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Scraping YouTube as a Political Research Project

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by QuackingDuck, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. QuackingDuck

    QuackingDuck Newbie

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    So I dabble in political commentary for entertainment, but am always looking for a way to monetize, and I think I have an idea that might be a good one.

    I don't know if BHW has a "no politics" rule, but many forums do, so I'll try to sanitize the post as best I can, and make it just about Internet Marketing.

    Let's say there's a powerful female political candidate who is like by some, hated by many, but she's been around for so long that she has a huge machine and people assume she's going to get elected because of the machine and not because people actually like her. And her opponent is highly controversial and he'll either get a lot of "for" votes , or a lot of "against" votes will go to the female candidate because they hate him and don't necessarily like her.

    So the question is, what do people really feel about "her"? Do they really LIKE her, or do they just HATE him?

    So today I was looking at YouTube videos, and I typed her 1st name in and the top-ranked YouTube video was about her, but comments were "disabled" and I thought, "HMMMmmm. Maybe people hate her so much that the uploader disabled comments so that all that hatred out there couldn't be expressed on a venue that was actually supposed to be FOR "her"." And then I wondered about the thumbs-up vs. thumbs-down numbers and HOLY COW.

    She had about 1,200 thumbs-up and 2,500 thumbs-down. I'm no YouTube expert, but that sounds like a LOT of hatred for a video that only had 40,000 views total.

    So then I had my "big idea", in order to determine how much "anti-her" feeling there is out there, as indicated by YouTube, which is not a political poll that can be purchased, and have the results purchased too. These are average people telling the truth about how they feel. I wonder if there isn't some money to be made off this data.

    My Big Idea:

    Create a 'bot that scrapes all videos that have "her" name (or someone else's name; you could do an analysis on anyone) in the title and then pull all the data, i.e. how many views, how many thumbs-up, or thumbs-down, how many have comments enabled, how many have comments disabled (the idea is that people disable comments when they don't want to give a platform to the opposition and they are afraid of what it looks like to have a pro-her YouTube video filled with nothing but anti-"her" comments.

    And then compile the data. How many videos have more than (let's say) 500 views (establish a minimum threshold to weed-out any cranks and home-made nutjobs and irrelevant or insignificant people, comments, perspectives, etc... and what their thumbs percentage is (number of views per response), what the up/down ratio is, etc...

    It might be an indicator of larger and more important perspectives. Physical appearance, region of the country, issue, etc... at this point I can't say. I just want to know if a bot like this is possible, and how cheaply one can be made. And any other ideas people might have. Maybe I'm missing something here.
     
  2. Sebastian Rooks

    Sebastian Rooks Registered Member

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    Hey man, I like your idea. I've got no love for either of them, but I like your idea. I haven't worked on YouTube, but your requirements aren't that difficult, though I have concerns about YouTube like data being anymore genuine than politicians themselves.

    Want a bot that goes around liking your asshole candidate of choice? That'd be even simpler. Hence, I wouldn't trust the data 100% Still, I like the idea.

    Think about working on it yourself, look into Python. It's free, can do anything you can think of and more (has absolutely stellar modules for all sorts of analysis,etc), has communities and support materials everywhere, and isn't all that hard to learn.

    Cheers.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. QuackingDuck

    QuackingDuck Newbie

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    bump
     
  4. myweddingcaketoppers

    myweddingcaketoppers BANNED BANNED

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    Thanks for share with us.