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Understanding the Emotion Tone of Text with AI — Sentiment Analysis on Monkeypox Tweets
Latest   Machine Learning

Understanding the Emotion Tone of Text with AI — Sentiment Analysis on Monkeypox Tweets

Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Kirsten Jiayi Pan

Originally published on Towards AI.

Understanding the Emotion Tone of Text with AI — Sentiment Analysis on Monkeypox Tweets

How do companies and organizations understand customers’ feelings or public’s sentiment regarding a trending event? The most common approaches would be reading hundreds of reviews and comments online, setting up feedback interviews, or asking the public to fill out surveys. Let’s say we have collected this valuable data from the public, what should we do next to extract value out of it?

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Before revealing the mystery, we will make an example study using the Monkeypox virus topic, one of the latest spreading infectious diseases, and see how the public feels about it. After having collected around 13.5k tweets for the past 12 months from Twitter as our sample corpus, we will conduct a sentiment analysis of how the public feels about the Monkeypox virus.

What is a Sentiment Analysis, and Why is it Important?

Sentiment analysis has been widely used since the early 20th century, and its research area is still fast growing. One of the most advanced solutions is to use AI to proceed with sentiment analysis. The algorithm uses a natural language processing (NLP) technique which enables it to determine the moods or emotions of a piece of text. In this case, companies can react based on user feedback.

When we are using this algorithm to analyze a corpus, a sentiment score will be assigned to it. A sentiment score is an indicator between -1 to 1, which shows if the content in the corpus is expressing positive (1), neutral (0), or negative sentiment (-1).

  • Sentiment scores in the range of between 0.2 and 1, and the text tends to be increasingly leaning toward a positive mood.
  • Sentiment scores in the range of between -0.2 and -1, the text would tend to be considered as negative or very negative.
  • Sentiment score in the range of between -0.2 and 0.2, the text is considered neutral.

Companies that extract customer sentiment scores can use it as one of their KPIs since it can indicate how their customers feel about their brand.

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On Hand!

Web Scraping

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational purposes. We do not encourage anyone to scrape websites, especially those web properties that may have terms and conditions against such actions.

As mentioned previously, we are going to scrape around 13.5k tweets for the past 12 months from Twitter about the Monkeypox virus. The main Python library that we use at this step is called snscrape.

Output from
Output from

As you can see, we have successfully collected 13540 tweets as our sample corpus, which are temporarily saved in a DataFrame. There are 4 columns in this DataFrame: ‘Datetime’, ‘Tweet ID’, ‘Text’, and ‘Username’.

Calculating Sentiment Score and Data Cleaning

After having prepared our data, we can now use a library called TextBlob to calculate the sentiment score for each tweet.

Output from
Output from

Each tweet is assigned with a sentiment score which shows in a new column called ‘sentiment’. Before further analysis, we found out that there are many tweets that are neutral (sentiment score between -0.2 and 0.2). Neutral means that there are no opinion impacts or unrelated comments. In this case, we only want to focus on tweets that show positive and negative emotions by hiding tweets that are neutral.


Next, we are going to calculate and visualize the average sentiment score that is grouped by month to see the trend of how the public feels about the Monkeypox virus from time to time. The Python library for visualizing monthly average sentiment score is

Output from

These are the mean sentiment scores for each month. Next, we are going to visualize a line graph by using the data above.

Output from

The line graph above illustrates sentiment scores from late August 2021 to late August 2022. The two most sharp declines happened between Nov 2021 to February 2022 and May 2022 to August 2022. The two lowest spots on this plot graph are February 2021 and August 2022, which could be due to major announcements from the government public health departments. Overall, the public has had negative emotions toward the Monkeypox virus for the past 12 months.

Eventually, we are using WordCloud to picture the keywords that are being mentioned the most in our corpus based on counting the frequency. The larger the words appear on the word cloud, the more often it was mentioned by the public.

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As you can see, using AI to implement sentiment analysis is very productive for companies and organizations that need to review feedback from their customers or the public, especially when the dataset is large. By using this algorithm, we can easily keep track of the public emotions regarding this latest spreading infectious disease. This will be very helpful for related departments to decide what actions to take that can eliminate the anxiety from the public in the future.

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