Speaker: William Scott Sanders, PhD, Department of Communication, University of Louisville

Title: "The Collection, Analysis, and Quirks of Social Media Data"

Social media has not only increased society’s interconnection but has also provided researchers an opportunity to observe real world interactions en masse. This presentation introduces a pipeline for social media research by discussing the nature and limitations of social media data, its collection, and its analyses. First, we will consider common pitfalls or misunderstandings of social media data, such as issues of representation or unfounded beliefs in the wisdom of the crowds, that can lead to faulty conclusions. Next, we will look at practical examples in a Jupyter notebook (Python) of how to access the application programming interfaces (APIs) of social media platforms and how to scrape webpages. Finally, we will consider data analysis examples ranging from network analysis to LDA topic modeling.

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