For background, please check out the post related to this: #brunei Complaints

What follows here are notes to explain or justify my method of classifying complaints, some grey areas, the use of hashtags and limiting the data to Twitter.

Gosh, I do write a lot huh. Another mini-Table of Contents for you:

What is a complaint?
Why search the #brunei hashtag?
Why Twitter?


Some caveats, explanations, definitions:

What is a complaint?

I intended to only compile public complaints.

  • INCLUDES grievances about public places, facilities and services, that could actually be forwarded to some authority to deal with;
  • DOES NOT INCLUDE whining about your boss or maid, or how much money your sister charged to your credit card over the weekend.

Deconstructing complaints:

  • A complaint involves some matter of dissatisfaction.
  • Sometimes it is a matter of how you read the tweet. I couldn’t really tell if this was a complaint:

    #Brunei , i dont believe that we throw much rubbish #insaf – beelahkay – 27-Sep-11 1:52:54 PM

  • In some cases, I didn’t know the context:

    Come on #Brunei you can be better than this, I know it..! – NicholausDowns – 27-Sep-11 10:18:59 AM

Some grey areas:

  • Neighbourhood Annoyances? These are limited to your kampung, or heck, your simpang, but it is still possible to involve public authorities to intervene. E.g. Late night racers, pre/post-wedding karaoke enthusiasts.
  • Suggestions, opinions and observations? These do not always have a “dissatisfied” tone, but are nonetheless constructive. E.g:

    If South Korea wants to stop kids study till late, #Brunei should consider this too. No more night tuition – Izadmajid – 26-Sep-11 3:55:09 PM

  • I Want. These are not exactly complaints, but potential future areas of action. I actually did include these in my initial list as I find them interesting.

Additional filters (I love putting things into bullet points, huh):

  • Only unique complaints were taken, i.e. not the same guy complaining about the same thing over multiple tweets.
  • Also, only the original poster’s tweets were taken rather than retweets by other people.

Lastly, quite obviously being the curator of this, there is still a censor at work, i.e. my own personal filter. If someone else looked at the same data, perhaps they would have eliminated less, or more, tweets. They may also have categorized them differently.

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Why search the #brunei hashtag?

Why only look up the #brunei hashtag?

Quite simply, the ease of searching. It was easier than looking through the feeds of all Bruneian Twitter users, searching for tweets resembling complaints. These tweets were meant for public viewing anyway, by Bruneian Twitter users.

Obviously, this leaves out complaints from accounts that don’t use hashtags. I can imagine that there being lots of people who post without the hashtag. Which brings me to…

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Why Twitter?

@izadmajid and @teah quite validly asked, why Twitter?

  • BruDirect’s Have Your Say is THE online place to go to anonymously vent out your frustrations about the state of the nation’s youth, or the Government’s latest bad decisions, or your next-door neighbour. This is like the gold-mine of complaints by Bruneians.
  • As for Facebook, everyone’s favourite social network (for now!), is also a great place to find people’s grievances. This is where people become “Facebook friends” with their schoolmates from primary school, their cousins and uncles and mom, their work colleagues, and some guy they were on a 3-day course with and will probably never meet again.

Snarkiness aside, it becomes apparent why complaints may be easier to find on these websites.

  • BruDirect lets you complain anonymously. You get to express your dissatisfaction without being accountable for it. The problem with anonymity is that anyone can write anything, and you don’t have a user profile or account to lock you to your words, and no means of contact is provided, which makes it harder to verify your story.
  • Facebook lets you complain privately, though this depends on your privacy settings, of course. It’s also nice to get sympathy from your friends, and they also feel secure in a semi-private setting in which to put in their two cents. From the point of view of a person trying to get data on complaints, I will need permission to use my friends’ complaints if their profile isn’t public.

Basically, for a mini-project, it was much simpler to use Twitter where people intend for their complaints to be viewed publicly, and are willing to attach their identity to it, at least however much their user profile can be taken credibly anyway.

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Any thoughts? 🙂

Ease of searching