Hedwig (Hedy) Lee - University of Washington

Using Twitter for Demographic and Social Science Research: Tools for Data Collection

    Date:  03/07/2013 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  Social Sciences 111

    Organizer:  Elizabeth Frankenberg


Meeting Schedule: Login or email the organizer to schedule a meeting.

   WED - |

   6:00pm - Dinner w/ Merli, Pearson, McCormick

   THURS - | *** All meetings (unless otherwise noted) will be in 202 Soc-Sci ***

    9:00am - Elizabeth Frankenberg (breakfast, Washington Duke)

   10:00am - Duncan Thomas

   10:30am - Nick Ingwersen, Ryan Brown

   11:00am - Seth Sanders

   11:30am - Katherine King

   12:00pm - Sandy Darity

    1:00pm - Maria Laurito, Greg Callanan

    1:45pm - Keith Whitfield, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, 220 Allen Bldg

    2:15pm - Candice Odgers

    2:45pm - Amar Hamoudi

    3:15pm - Seminar Prep (111 Soc-Sci)

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)


    Additional Comments:  ABSTRACT: Despite widespread success in using Twitter data to explain what people are doing or talking about, little attention has been paid to developing systematic ways of gathering demographic information from this data source. This paper develops a scalable, sustainable toolkit for social science researchers interested in using Twitter data to examine behaviors and attitudes, as well as understand the populations expressing them. We begin by describing how to collect Twitter data on a particular population – in this case, individuals who did not plan to vote in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. We then describe and evaluate a method for processing data to retrieve demographic information reported by users that is not encoded as text (e.g., details of images) and assess the reliability of these techniques. We end by assessing the challenges of this data collection method and discussing how large-scale social media data may benefit demographic researchers.