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Towards an ethical framework for publishing Twitter data in social research: taking into account users’ views, online context and algorithmic estimation

Williams, Matthew L, Burnap, Peter and Sloan, Luke 2017. Towards an ethical framework for publishing Twitter data in social research: taking into account users’ views, online context and algorithmic estimation. Sociology

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Abstract

New and emerging forms of data, including posts harvested from social media sites such as Twitter, have become part of the sociologist’s data diet. In particular, some researchers see an advantage in the perceived ‘public’ nature of Twitter posts, representing them in publications without seeking informed consent. While such practice may not be at odds with Twitter’s terms of service, we argue there is a need to interpret these through the lens of social science research methods, that imply a more reflexive ethical approach than provided in ‘legal’ accounts of the permissible use of these data in research publications. To challenge some existing practice in Twitter based research, this paper brings to the fore i) views of Twitter users through analysis of online survey data, ii) the effect of context collapse and online disinhibition on the behaviors of users, and iii) the publication of identifiable sensitive classifications derived from algorithms.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: algorithms, computational social science, social data science, context collapse, ethics, social media, twitter
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0038-0385
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 03:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/99642

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