The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

SoMe Tools for Social Media Research (Social Media Lab, University of Washington)

Social scientists utilizing the big datasets gathered from social media are faced with unique technical, methodological, and ethical challenges that are often not foregrounded in academic literature. This work addresses these technical, methodological and ethical gaps by describing the evolving system used by the Social Media Lab at the University of Washington to collect cross platform data related to the Occupy movement (38+ million tweets, check-ins, and Facebook posts). Design considerations inform the interrelationship of technical, methodological and ethical considerations related to big data and social media. We justify our architecture and design choices vis-à-vis these gaps, providing utility for other studies that involve collecting, curating, and analyzing large quantities of social media data.