The Politics of Twitter Data

15 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2013  

Cornelius Puschmann

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Jean Burgess

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: January 23, 2013

Abstract

Our paper approaches Twitter through the lens of “platform politics” (Gillespie, 2010), focusing in particular on controversies around user data access, ownership, and control. We characterise different actors in the Twitter data ecosystem: private and institutional end users of Twitter, commercial data resellers such as Gnip and DataSift, data scientists, and finally Twitter, Inc. itself; and describe their conflicting interests. We furthermore study Twitter’s Terms of Service and application programming interface (API) as material instantiations of regulatory instruments used by the platform provider and argue for a more promotion of data rights and literacy to strengthen the position of end users.

Keywords: social media, Twitter, big data, users, platforms, regulation

Suggested Citation

Puschmann, Cornelius and Burgess, Jean, The Politics of Twitter Data (January 23, 2013). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2013-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2206225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2206225

Cornelius Puschmann (Contact Author)

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Französische Str. 9
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 2007 6082 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hiig.de

Jean Burgess

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

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