Social scientists (with an internet bent) have never had it so good in terms of availability of social data. The mainstreaming of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has helped generate huge volumes of socially-rich data that is more or less accessible to curious investigators. To aid access, most services provide an API as well as an associated Terms of Service (TOS) - which outlines what you can and what you can't do with this data. Twitter certainly did this and provided access to their data and services in an open and non-obstructive way. Consequently, users, developers, and researchers all benefited from this open ecosystem in which this "openness" contributed to Twitter's rapid growth. However, as of February this year, Twitter changed their TOS and API access to prohibit certain activities. In this talk I will discuss these changes, the impacts on research activity, and whether or not services like Twitter have a responsibility to provide open access to their/our public data.
Last modified: Tuesday, 10-May-2011 09:05:21 NZST
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