Discursus is a data-driven platform created to enhance the understanding and analysis of protest movements in North America by parsing media coverage and, eventually, social media. Born out of a passion for computer science, data science, and political science, the project's creator was inspired by the potential to explore the connections between these fields, driven by events such as the 2014 protests in Brazil and the Trucker's Convoy in Ottawa in 2022.
The platform stands out due to its ability to scrape multiple sources and process the data to provide a rich, comprehensive picture of protest movements. With data refreshing multiple times per day and an easy-to-use API for ingesting the data, Discursus offers a valuable tool for academics, researchers, and journalists alike.
Discursus aims to improve the coverage and analysis of protest movements by providing insights into the continuity between events, the narratives behind the movements, and the dynamics of the actors involved. By fostering a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of these movements, the platform can enable its users to make more informed decisions and create more accurate analyses.
While the platform is currently in its early stages, there are ambitious plans for its future development. Enhancements include expanding the sources of data to include social media and satellite imagery, refining the data schema to better capture the actors and narratives involved, leveraging LLMs to improve data processing and extraction, and implementing quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and freshness of the platform's output.
As Discursus continues to grow and evolve, it has the potential to become an invaluable tool for those seeking to understand and analyze protest movements, fostering greater insight and awareness of the social, political, and cultural forces that shape our world.