This is just kind of silly, but did you know that a website, OpenSignalMaps, actually tracks trends in SSIDs, aka Wi-Fi network names? You know, it’s the name you gave your network when you set it up. I think mine is something like 78ui4ob0977 (I just slammed my fingers on the keyboard randomly, but you get my point), but other people have clever names that indicate how they vote.
According to Devin Coldewey, a gadget guy at MSNBC.com,
Their database has nearly 75 million Wi-Fi access points mapped, and somewhat surprisingly, less than a thousand of those expressed some political leaning, or at least one that mentions the President.
OpenSignalMap.com recognizes that this is more of a curiosity than a science, and they explain the challenges of trying to make this Router Map actually show political leaning:
The hardest part of this analysis was assigning sentiment values. It was immediately clear that even state of the art natural language software would be unable to parse “ObamaDaClown”, “ObamaPrezNaaaaw” or “Obamarama” let alone determine whether these reflect negative or positive sentiments. So we put the routers into Excel and went through them by hand. Even then there were some riddles, does “Obama_is_a_socialist” reflect negative sentiment? To many Europeans it would not, but in a US context (and this was a US router, indeed one of several with similar messages) we judged it a criticism.
My favorite (and least favorite, somehow at the same time) was “Obama Blows Goats.” Though I gotta give some props to the lady or fella in my own city of Los Angeles for the longest anti-Obama name jammed into the allotted 32 characters: “Obama is a Kenyan Communist”.
Though it makes you wonder Donald Trump is doing in East LA.*
*Just kidding, Trumpster!
Graphic courtesy of the interactive map at OpenSignalMaps.com