Twitter Mining

In February, 2014 Twitter made all its tweets available to researchers. As might be suspected, this massive data is a potential treasure trove to researchers. While one might picture researchers
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Image via CrunchBase In February, 2014 Twitter made all its tweets available to researchers. As might be suspected, this massive data is a potential treasure trove to researchers. While one might picture researchers going through the tweets for the obvious content (such as what people eat and drink), this data can be mined in some potentially surprising ways. For example, the spread of infectious diseases can be tracked via an analysis of tweets. This sort of data mining is not new—some years ago I wrote an essay on the ethics of mining data and used Target’s analysis of data to determine when customers were pregnant (so as to send targeted ads). What is new about this is that all the tweets are now available to researchers, thus providing a vast heap of data (and probably a lot of crap). As might be imagined, there are some ethical concerns about the use of this data. While some might suspect that this creates a brave new world for ethics, this is not the case. While the availability. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

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