Information and Interface Design

Language is a complex issue in South Sudan. There are over 60 indigenous languages, with the official language since independence being English even though only 4% of the population speak it. Arabic is the other main language. Written language is generally scarce in South Sudan so Fabio was interested to find out what we might be missing by only focussing on English language Facebook content, specifically that there might be a large number of hidden Arabic language Facebook groups.


An initial look at the data shows there are more English language Facebook groups in total than Arabic ones. Rolling over each circle reveals details about any one individual group including; name of the group, how many members it has, whether it is a public or private group, and whether it is an active or inactive group.

Filtering by languages reinforces the initial impression that English dominates Facebook groups that feature content related to South Sudan.

But what about active and inactive members? How realistic is it to assume that these groups are posting regular content and thus contributing to the South Sudanese social media conversation? The resulting shows a number of interesting factors. Firstly, of the active groups, most are English. Secondly, the inactive groups in both languages have the fewest members, buttery are more Arabic language ones. Finally here is much we cannot tell about whether a group is active ir not so the data should be trade with caution.

When it does to public and private groups, while the overall proportions may be similar, the visualisation shows that the private Arabic language groups have more members than the public ones.

Overall Fabio created a dynamic and interactive visualisation of data that was available, but not previously correlated into a visual representation. This has proved to be of real value to the project partners defyhatenow and Peacetechlab.