Methodology for public opinion survey

The survey analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted March 9-11, 2012, among a national sample of 814 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States (487 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 327 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 150 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who is now at home. Interviews in the cell sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was an adult 18 years of age or older. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see:

The margin of error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence is 4.0 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Methodology for Twitter analysis

The analysis of the tone of conversation on Twitter utilizes coding procedures created by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism along with computer technology from the media monitoring firm Crimson Hexagon. This analysis is based on an examination of more than 5.4 million tweets related to the Kony 2012 movement.

Crimson Hexagon is a software platform that identifies statistical patterns in words used in online texts. Researchers enter key terms using Boolean search logic so the software can identify relevant material to analyze. PEJ draws its analysis sample from all publicly available Twitter posts. Then a researcher trains the software to classify documents using examples from those collected posts. Finally, the software classifies the rest of the online content according to the patterns derived during the training.  

According to Crimson Hexagon: “Our technology analyzes the entire social internet (blog posts, forum messages, Tweets, etc.) by identifying statistical patterns in the words used to express opinions on different topics.”  Information on the tool itself can be found at and the in depth methodologies can be found here

The time frame for the analysis is March 5-12, 2012.

PEJ used the following list of keywords in a Boolean search to narrow the universe to relevant posts:

Kony OR “Invisible Children” OR Uganda OR “Jason Russell”

*For the sake of authenticity, PEJ has a policy of not correcting misspellings or grammatical errors that appear in direct quotes from online postings.


A PDF of the topline results is available for download here.