Usage of Facebook and Twitter to elicit participants

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    Dale Reardon


    I plan to conduct some research into anti-discrimination law as part of my PhD studies in Australia.  I would like to use Facebook and Twitter to elicit survey participants due to reaching a broader group of people and spreading the message quickly and cheaply.

    Are there any published papers or your thoughts on problems with this technique?  I am aware of Christine Brickman’s paper – Not By The Book – but are there others?

    I understand there are consequences in terms of potential bias towards female participants and income / social status of users of social media.  What are the problems and how can you work around these issues?

    As another point does using social media to gather survey participants amount to a different methodology or is it just a technique for obtaining survey participants rather than a distinct methodology?




    Twitter: @DaleReardon



    Katie Metzler

    Hi Dale, you should join our network for Social Media Researchers! You can sign up via NatCen here:

    You should also join the methodspace group for the network (NSMNSS) here:

    In this group, we’ve started collecting resources for researchers using social media. Here are a few – the first one is a great review of using facebook which I think you’ll find really useful.

    You’ll also find videos of the conference we just held which I think will be of interest to you!

    If you have other questions, do try posting them in the NSMNSS methodspace group and the network members should hopefully be able to help you!



    Dale Reardon

    Thanks – have joined those 2 groups and checking out the other information,


    Jp Munoz

    There is a good site about research method that can help you in your studies about anti-discrimination law, you can check this site:

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