Monday, September 24, 2012

Youth Defence: Under the Influence

My earlier pieces on Youth Defence's Twitter followers didn't come in for much criticism. I showed that only a tiny minority of their followers are Irish, and of those Irish followers, many disliked them. I showed that they're funded from the States. They didn't challenge. Perhaps my case was so watertight they judged it shrewder to maintain stoic silence. More likely it escaped their attention. A pity, I'd rather hoped to have to defend my work.

One potential criticism I'd anticipated is that Youth Defence has no great choice in who follows them. There is the outside chance a rather well-orchestrated conspiracy led to hundreds of US-based followers in some scheme of Byzantine complexity. But no-one's voiced such a theory. Still, while waiting patiently by my keyboard for any sign Youth Defence would earn the second half of its title by defending its honour I chose to put in some preemptive research.

Jim Rohn once said "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." The sentiment appeals to me even though the grammar does not. His thoughts were not focused on Twitter when he spoke and we may need to revise the number five upwards to better accommodate the data available on Twitter.

So, with whom does Youth Defence choose to spend its time online? I pulled a list of all the accounts they choose to follow and ran some metrics. If you're a skim reader, please stop for a second. I'm talking about folk Youth Defence follows, not folk who follow Youth Defence. That bit's important. You may now resume skimming.

Ruhama Twitter followers

I said I'd check, so I did:
Unlike a cursory glance through their history I found nothing scandalous.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pulling Twitter Metrics

Over my last few posts I've examined the geographic diversity of Youth Defence followers.
I also took a recent sample of tweets and tried for a rough idea of how many folk talking about Youth Defence actually like them.

I've been asked how I've been able to pull this data. I hope the picture below clears things up:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Youth Defence - The Money Shot

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The Tardis and the Life House share many similarities. They are both dated, anachronistic and better suited to a 1950's environment. Their owner undergoes a semi-regular process of rebirth with different appearances but the same core personality. And, most significantly, they must both be substantially larger on the inside.

Number 60a Capel Street has simultaneously acted as home base for Coir, Youth Defence, the Life Institute, the Mother and Child Campaign, Truth TV, and the Pro-Life Alliance.

We must commend them on their efficient use of office space.

One of the founder members of this compact conglomerate is Scott Schittl, as evidenced by Niamh Ui Briain's comments below:
"Scott Schittl was so much a part of everything at 60a Capel Street that it scarcely seemed possible he could ever leave... During his time in Ireland Scott both initiated and was the driving force behind many important pro-life projects... He brought many talents to 60a Capel Street." - Niamh Ui Briain writing in Solas, vol 11 no 4
Fans of Youth Defence reading this blog should hold fast. In this modern age geographical distance need act as no impediment to continued cooperation, and there are many ways in which Schittl can maintain his ties to his friends in the overcrowded offices of the Life House, 60a Capel Street.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Youth Defence: The Only Thing Worse Than Being Talked About

I commented earlier on the difficulty of differentiating between those of @YouthDefence's followers who approved of the organisation's aims, and those whose morbid sense of curiosity compels them to see what bizarre utterances they'll next belch on to Twitter.

I said it would be tricky, most likely involving trawling through all posts by all followers, and not a task to which I warmed.

Still, there seems to be some appetite for material of this sort so I offer you an alternative. I searched Twitter for mentions of either "Youth Defence" or youthdefence, categorised them as either in favour, against, or unknown and did another pretty chart. Note - tweeting about Youth Defence does not mean the person necessarily follows @YouthDefence. The source data is below; and bar the observation that their claims to be "the voice of the majority" seems even less credible I leave the commentary to other bloggers. It's sunny outside.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Youth Defence: Does Following Imply Endorsement?

In part one we saw that 59% of Youth Defence's Twitter followers are based in the USA and Canada. 14% are in Ireland, 13% do not have a specified location.

Rather than extend these stats to a twenty page commentary I made my point, presented the source data and left it at that, but then @NeilMooney made a rather pertinent observation:

not to mention that they might be followed by some who disagree and like to challenge, ESPECIALLY in Ireland.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Youth Defence: Who Follows The Followers?

If you're Irish you've heard of Youth Defence. Possibly from the media. More likely, here in a country where abortion is illegal, you've seen them waiving pictures of aborted fetuses.

If you're not Irish you will not have had this dubious pleasure.

They paint themselves as the voice of the majority in Ireland. I greet this with a raised eyebrow; their commitment to the truth has not seemed unbreakable of late. They launched a factually inaccurate advertising campaign in which they violated the terms of use in pictures used for their billboard images. They claimed to have seen a surge in support on Facebook, neglecting to mention that 80% of their fans are based in the United States. Most pro-lifers I know regard them as something of an embarrassment.

With this in mind I thought I'd examine the followers of their Twitter account. There are two useful bits of information when tracking Twitter users: time zone and location. Location is ideal, though sometimes must be taken with a pinch of salt. "Hogsmeade & Mordor" counts among its citizens a fan of Youth Defence, as does the Neutral Zone, which I take to be a Star Trek reference.