Social media has brought about rapid change in society, from our social interactions and complaint systems to our elections and media outlets. It is increasingly used by individuals and organizations in both the public and private sectors. Over 30% of the world’s population is on social media. We spend most of our waking hours attached to our devices, with every minute in the US, 2.1M snaps are created and 1M people are logging in to Facebook. With all this use, comes a great amount of data.
Zoufan posted her last words on Weibo on 18, March, 2012. She was suffering from a major depressive disorder, and shortly after - committed suicide. Weibo is a microblogging application, launched by Sina Corporation back in 2009, based on user relationships to share, disseminate and get information. In essence, it is similar to Twitter, although it has a number of other useful capabilities. The app has more than 400 million users (compared to Twitter’s 300 million) and features that enable the study of emotional states and responses to the topics being discussed or spread across the web.
"Basically 90 percent of Facebook profit is made from advertising — selling your data to advertising companies so that they can place an advert on your browser..." says Bev Skeggs in a new interview with Social Science Bites. Bev Skeggs joins the podcast in order to reveal interesting new findings in her research that studies how social networks were structuring or restructuring friendships.
Getting data is becoming more and more of an issue and is unfortunately leading to consequences in academia. Disagreements that were usually solved with data are now getting lost due to the the little publicly available data on social media sites. This is a significant change to how social science researchers are gathering their data that professor Henry Farrell says is "badly understood."