The opportunities for social media research seem endless. But as ever, researchers have an obligation to assure data quality and not just fetishize the method. At our second workshop, we asking leading researchers about the main questions that need to be addressed to ensure our desire to engage online doesn’t compromise quality.
What is social media data analysis for? What can it do? What might it do, with suitable development? What can’t it do, ever?
What about data linkage? Can social media data be linked to other sources so that we know more about the people? To location/geographical data? To other datasets like the census?
What are the characteristics of different platforms? Given that platforms seem to be converging in terms of features how are they still different? How do these characteristics influence who uses the platform, what they do on the platform, how groups/networks form or fail to form?
How does corporate ownership of the data influence use or research access? This includes issues such as the influence of paywalls and monetization of social media participation on research and on participation.
Are these the right questions? Let us know what you think is most important here.
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