Collecting Tweets to gain insights into children’s environmental health

A Tweet says a thousand words

Collecting Tweets to gain insights into children’s environmental health

Twitter is an online community overflowing with feelings, beliefs and personal stories. Since 2013 Twitter users have been posting more than 500 million Tweets on average per day, or 200 billion Tweets a year.

Can we use these Tweets to gain insights into children’s environmental health?


The next time you find yourself doomscrolling through Twitter, take a break and search for topics related to healthy children’s activities such as baby smiles, learning to walk, first day at school, or playground playtime. Twitter is full of examples of healthy child behaviors and environments that support healthy living and positive child development.

Families with limited environmental choices and facing health challenges are also part of the Twitter community. For these families, online communities can be an opportunity to bond with others facing similar circumstances and let their experiences be heard.

The ASPIRE Children’s Environmental Health Center at Oregon State University is working with the next generation of public health professionals to develop advanced, deep learning methods to screen and analyze more than 1 billion Tweets for novel environmental relationships. These methods will allow us to gain valuable insights into which environments facilitate challenges and triumphs for children’s health across the nation. With the help of those who specialize in research translation, we can’t wait to share our results and improve children’s health where they live, learn and play.

2014 Tweets  

What's in the data?


93 Million Tweets

Tweets with keywords related to children, safe places, the environment and health.


8 Million people

2.9 million tweeters mentioned more than 7.9 million Twitter users.


74 Million threads

Threads often have multiple posts relevant to a specific topic such as environment.


3 Million exposures

2.8 million Tweets describing environmental exposures including pollution and noise.


22 Million images

Images contain rich information about children, their environments and behaviors.