The politics of Twitter data

Puschmann, Cornelius & Burgess, Jean (2014) The politics of Twitter data. In Weller, Katrin, Bruns, Axel, Burgess, Jean, Puschmann, Cornelius, & Mahrt, Merja (Eds.) Twitter and Society. Peter Lang, New York, pp. 43-54.

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Talk of Big Data seems to be everywhere. Indeed, the apparently value-free concept of ‘data’ has seen a spectacular broadening of popular interest, shifting from the dry terminology of labcoat-wearing scientists to the buzzword du jour of marketers. In the business world, data is increasingly framed as an economic asset of critical importance, a commodity on a par with scarce natural resources (Backaitis, 2012; Rotella, 2012).

It is social media that has most visibly brought the Big Data moment to media and communication studies, and beyond it, to the social sciences and humanities. Social media data is one of the most important areas of the rapidly growing data market (Manovich, 2012; Steele, 2011). Massive valuations are attached to companies that directly collect and profit from social media data, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as to resellers and analytics companies like Gnip and DataSift. The expectation attached to the business models of these companies is that their privileged access to data and the resulting valuable insights into the minds of consumers and voters will make them irreplaceable in the future. Analysts and consultants argue that advanced statistical techniques will allow the detection of ongoing communicative events (natural disasters, political uprisings) and the reliable prediction of future ones (electoral choices, consumption)...

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ID Code: 67127
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: big data, social media, political economy, platform politics, Twitter
ISBN: 9781433121692
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Peter Lang Publishing Group
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2014 23:16
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 23:39

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