COVID-19 Tweet Classification Challenge by #ZindiWeekendz
$300 USD
Can you identify tweets about coronavirus without using keywords?
216 data scientists enrolled, 142 on the leaderboard
8 May—10 May
59.983333333333334 hours

ML-driven sentiment analysis is an important tool to understand communities’ feelings around major issues such as COVID-19. Gathering comprehensive social data for sentiment analysis can be limited, however, if data collection relies only on keywords such as ‘coronavirus’ or ‘covid’.

The objective of this challenge is to develop a machine learning model to assess if a Twitter post is about COVID-19 or not. This model will help gather tweet data about the epidemic without relying only on key words like ‘covid’ or ‘coronavirus’ being present, allowing researchers and engineers to gather a more comprehensive dataset for sentiment analysis.

This model could be put into practice as part of a larger effort to understand online sentiment around COVID-19, and inform future communications and public interventions by governments and non-government public health organisations.

About #ZindiWeekendz

The Zindi community is joining the fight against COVID-19! #ZindiWeekendz are virtual weekend hackathons hosted by Zindi. This series of #ZindiWeekendz throughout April and May 2020 focuses specifically on COVID-19.

In a time of lockdowns, remote work, and general uncertainty, #ZindiWeekendz offer data scientists the opportunity to continue to develop their skills while contributing to practical, open-source AI solutions to help in the battle against COVID-19.

All winning solutions will be shared as a public good on GitHub. We are committed to supporting partners implement these solutions and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to us at

About Microsoft (

This hackathon is sponsored by Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft). Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world-class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.