Observing Malaysian Social Media

Posts Tagged ‘Crowd estimation

Twitter Statistics and Crowd Measurement of the Bersih 4 Rally

1. Background

On July 29th Bersih 2.0 announced that a rally entitlted ‘Bersih 4’ would be held on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu from August 29th, 2pm to August 30th. The demands of the rally are for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down and the following institutional reforms to be implemented:

  1. Clean Elections
  2. Clean Governments
  3. Saving Malaysia’s Economy
  4. Right to Dissent
  5. Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy (added on August 14th)

On August 14th Bersih released a statement adding a demand for a transitional government to be formed after Najib’s resignation. This government would need to implement 10 institutional reforms within the next 18 months to ensure the next General Election would be conducted in a clean, free and fair manner:

  1. Reform of electoral system and process
  2. Reform of the Election Commission (EC)
  3. Separation of Prime Minister and Finance Minister
  4. Parliamentary Reform
  5. Separation of the functions of Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution
  6. Reform of the MACC
  7. Freedom of Information laws
  8. Asset declaration by Ministers and senior state officials
  9. Abolishment of/Amendment to draconian laws
  10. Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)

On August 27th Opposition MPs from PKR, DAP and GHB released a joint statement declaring they would work with BN MPs to form a new government provided that Anwar Ibrahim and other prisoners of conscience be released; and political reforms be the core agenda of the new government.

2. Twitter Statistics

All statistics referring to tweets include retweets unless otherwise stated.

2.1 Basic Stats

111,879 users made 583,338 tweets about Bersih from July 28th – August 30th 2015.

96,890 users made 446,967 tweets about Bersih during the rally period (August 29th – August 30th 2015). In other words, 86.6% of the total users and 76.6% of total tweets were made during the rally.

The chart below shows a comparison in the number of users tweeting about the Bersih 2 (July 2011), Bersih 3 (April 2012) and Bersih 4 (August 2015) rallies in the days leading up to the event.

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Written by politweet

September 2, 2015 at 9:44 pm

BFM Interview: Crowd-counting

BFM recently interviewed us regarding the crowd-counting methodology as part of their ‘The Week in Review’ show. You can listen to the podcast at the link below (opens in a new tab):


Timeline (minute:second)

  • 0:00 Crowd-counting (Ahmed Kamal – Politweet; Gabey Goh – Editor, Digital News Asia)
  • 6:20 Lese Majeste Laws of Thailand
  • 11:57 Graffiti Artists in Myanmar
  • 16:50 The Phenomenon of Cybertroopers (Tessa Houghton – Asst.Professor in Media & Communication, Nottingham University; Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz – Chairman, UMNO New Media Unit; Praba Ganesan – PKR Social Media Strategist)

Written by politweet

January 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat #KL112 Crowd Estimate

Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising Rally / #KL112) was a protest rally held at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur on January 12th, 2012. It was organised by Pakatan Rakyat and various NGOs.

At its peak the crowd is estimated to have been between 63,976 – 78,193 people. This number is not expected to be revised, unless some new evidence surfaces to suggest a different crowd size.


Photos and videos that showed the size of the crowd were evaluated. These were used to determine the extents of the area covered by the crowd and the crowd density. The area was then refined by removing obstacles and estimating the percentage of space used. A crowd density of 4 – 12 sq.ft. per person was used.

Building the polygons

After initial evaluation of the photos, one was chosen as a reference to build the polygons from. The polygons were then adjusted after evaluating photos and videos. The steps are shown in the diagram below:


  1. The original photo
  2. Satellite photo, perspective-adjusted
  3. The original photo, perspective-adjusted to match the satellite photo
  4. The completed polygons on the map


The polygons in the map below shows the extents of the crowd, divided into different zones. The total space covered by the polygons is 456,627.05 sq. ft. The space taken up by the crowd is 275,532.03 sq. ft. These measurements do not include the stadium seating.


The estimated crowd in each zone is:

A = 20,122 people

B = 1,188 people

C = 8,652 people

D = 2,474 people

E = 7,428 people

F = 1,221 people

Stadium seating = 30,000 people

Total = 71,085 people

Margin of error is +/- 10%.

The estimated size of the crowd is 63,976 – 78,193 people.

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