Twitter recently announced that it is launching new tools to facilitate the work of academic researchers who intend to analyze the data of this social network on various topics such as the coronavirus epidemic, misinformation and hate speech.
Eligible researchers will have access to public tweets older than a week for free and can retrieve more data each month. Twitter said it intends Improve researchers’ methods of filtering data to help them obtain more accurate information from public accounts.
These features are part of the new version of the Twitter API and allow developers to access the site’s public data.
“Our decision to invest in the university research community is rooted in recognizing the value and impact of their work on the world and Twitter,” Adam Torrance, product manager of the Twitter Developers Platform, said in a press release. For example, researchers have used Twitter data to measure stress, anxiety and loneliness during an epidemic of coronary heart disease and the spread of hate speech.
According to Twitter, the most common topics that researchers are interested in studying are misinformation, the spread of the coronavirus, the 2020 US election, and the spread of hatred. But as companies increase their access to user data, Twitter needs to be concerned about its privacy and balance.
Some researchers are also interested in examining the tweets of former US President Donald Trump. In an unprecedented move, Twitter blocked Trump’s account amid concerns about fomenting recent riots. However, it will be difficult for researchers to study some topics, such as spreading hatred and spreading misinformation.
Applicants who are at a university or university institution, a graduate student, a doctoral candidate, a postdoctoral fellow or a research worker will be eligible and must submit an application to Twitter to access this amount of data. They should also have a “defined research purpose” and their research should be used for “non-commercial purposes”.