Protest Image Dataset

The Protest Image Dataset is a new data collection project that includes images from social media with an emphasis on political protests. The dataset contains, besides the images themselves, variables on location, time, as well as a hand-annotated protest variable.

Protest Image Dataset
Images in Protest Image Dataset

To advance the state of research of political movements and protests, we aim to study them through images and videos. A fundamental task is to recognize the visual features of protest. This task can already be accomplished by image processing algorithms being developed in the field of computer vision. They need a large set of annotated images to learn, for example, to distinguish a protest image from a non-protest image.

Two datasets already exist for protest images, but unfortunately they are not suitable for our analyses because they either only contain images from a single country, do not match the images to any country, or do not contain any non-protest images. For this reason, we decided that we needed to collect our own dataset. In order to do this, we first collected images from social media from different parts of the world. Secondly, we coded these images as protest images and non-protest images according to predefined criteria. Our dataset currently contains 190,000 images from 14 countries.


We believe that this will be the first dataset that allows to determine for each image if it shows a protest or not and from which country it originates. In addition, it will be the first dataset that contains protest images from a variety of regions.


We will release the first version of the Protest Image Dataset in 2023.