Taking tweets to the streets: A spatial analysis of the Vinegar Protests in Brazil


  • Marco Toledo Bastos HASTAC Duke University
  • Raquel da Cunha Recuero Universidade Catolica de Pelotas (UCPel)
  • Gabriela da Silva Zago Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel)




Twitter, Activism, Spatial analysis, Protest, Vinegar, Brazil


In this paper we investigate the relationship between the geographic location of protestors attending demonstrations in the 2013 Vinegar protests in Brazil and the geographic location of users that tweeted the protests. We explored the overlap between different sources of geographic information from Twitter — namely geocode, hashtag, and user profile — provided by multiple samples drawn from a population of three million tweets related to the events and compared the data to the location of protestors attending the street demonstrations. We adjusted the data for the uneven distribution of the population and performed geospatial and spatial clustering analysis over sets of spatial locations. We found evidence for the hypotheses that users tweeting the protests are geographically distant from the street protests and that users from geographically isolated areas rely on Twitter hashtags to remotely engage in the demonstrations.

Author Biographies

Marco Toledo Bastos, HASTAC Duke University

Marco Toledo Bastos is the NSF EAGER postdoctoral fellow at HASTAC, Duke University.

Raquel da Cunha Recuero, Universidade Catolica de Pelotas (UCPel)

Raquel Recuero is an associate professor and researcher at the Department of Applied Linguistics and Social Communication in Universidade Católica de Pelotas (UCPel) in Brazil.

Gabriela da Silva Zago, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel)

Gabriela Zago is a professor at the Department of Digital Design at Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel) and a PhD candidate at the Communication and Information Graduate School at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil.




How to Cite

Bastos, M. T., Recuero, R. da C., & Zago, G. da S. (2014). Taking tweets to the streets: A spatial analysis of the Vinegar Protests in Brazil. First Monday, 19(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i3.5227