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Research data for paper: Racist way of victim blaming in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire

posted on 29.04.2021, 09:28 authored by Selin Tekin Guven, John DruryJohn Drury
This dataset for a forthcoming publication involves racist tweets against Grenfell Tower fire victims. We aimed to understand how tweeters used racist language to delegitimise the victims and their supporters.

Data was collected in January 2021, using the Advanced Search option within Twitter and by downloading tweets using tweepy.org, developer.twitter.com, and kaggle.com. The data was processed using Pandas Package (pandas.pydata.org).

The dataset consists of four files of tweet ID numbers of racist Twitter posts against Grenfell Tower victims, survivors and bereaved families. In total we collected 26,653 tweets that involved #Grenfell #GrenfellTower #GrenfellTowerfire hashtags in four different time periods (see below for more information), and separated the ones that used hostile and racist language against Grenfell Tower fire victims and bereaved families. Tweets were also analysed which were in themselves not using racist language, but where replies included racist language.This dataset represents 267 of the 416 tweets that were analysed, in the following documents:

1. ‘2017_Tweets_Grenfelll Public Inquiry began’ represents data that were collected between September 7 and 21 in 2017. This centred on the formal opening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on 14th September 2017. We collected 93 racist tweets out of 6,348 Grenfell Tower fire-related tweets from this period.

2. ‘2018_Tweets_Petition’ represents tweets from the second data collection time period that was during the time of the petition that Grenfell supporters created to demand a debate in Parliament to include survivors and bereaved families in the inquiry process. The petition began on 14th May 2018 and it ended on 30th May 2018. We collected 112 racist tweets out of 7,578 Grenfell Tower fire-related tweets between those dates.

3. 2019_Tweets_Inquiry Report’ has tweets that were collected between 23rd October and 7th November in 2019. This included the date of the first inquiry report on 30th October. We collected 47 racist tweets out of 11,718 Grenfell Tower fire-related tweets during this period.

4. ‘2020_Tweets_COVID cancelled SW’ involves the last data collection time period that happened between 7th and 31st March 2020. This included the first Silent Walk that was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. We collected 33 (13 tweets with hashtags) racist tweets out of 1,010 Grenfell Tower fire-related tweets.

The Readme file includes further details.

The files include TweetIDs as captured in January 2021. These can be rehydrated using resources such as Twarc (https://github.com/DocNow/twarc) or Hydrator (https://github.com/DocNow/hydrator) in order to retrieve the Tweets as they currently appear on Twitter. Tweets which have been deleted since data capture will not be retrieved.