Making Sense of a Networked World
More than a billion people around the world are turning to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to find like-minded individuals, seek information, share breaking news, discuss politics, rally support, and recommend products and services. These interactions are contributing to a rapidly growing amount of social media data.
Technology companies have been providing app developers and other interested parties with an ever-increasing level of access to this data through automated mechanisms such as Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs). As Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd is trying to better understand how we collect, store, use, reuse, analyze, publish, and preserve this data.
Gruzd’s research is the first major undertaking to apply the emerging notion of data stewardship to social media data—that is, data contributed by social media users directly through posts, photos, and videos, or automatically recorded by online services and users’ devices.
Specifically, Gruzd and his research team will study the practices behind, and attitudes towards, the stewardship of social media data by three major stakeholders: data producers (social media users), data intermediaries (social media platforms), and data consumers (researchers and policy- and decision-makers in the private and public sectors).
Gruzd’s research will provide decision-makers with a clear framework for collecting and using social media data for business and research purposes. It will also allow companies to better align their data collection practices with what works best for users.