Twitter will open all data to scientists


Beijing time on May 27, 500 million Twitter news every day, content involves all aspects of people’s life, and now, the social network has decided to open a huge data base to scientists, help them to study human behavior pattern, the anticipation health risks and track the spread of infectious diseases.

Microsoft researchers, for example, through to the Twitter pregnant women show emotions, developed a new algorithm to predict the risk of postpartum depression. The U.S. geological survey, you can use Twitter to track the earthquake occurred.

until now, most scientists all interested in related problems can only use limited tweets. Although most tweets are made public, but scientists hope to random search these content, they are now only through the Twitter API (application programming interface) to realize the function, but can only access to 1% of the data.

However, this situation will soon change, Twitter announced in February, will put all of the data since 2006 freely available to the researchers, is expected to make Twitter became a popular study tools. With the aid of such a huge data, scientists can study more complex, more specific questions. Twitter it exciting, but also caused some problems. Can Twitter to enjoy any rights related research results? Because the user may not want to give their contribution to the content to the researchers, so this tool Twitter is morally wrong?

in order to solve this problem, Caitlin, an epidemiologist at Virginia tech university computer reeves (Caitlin Rivers) and Brian Lewis (Bryan Lewis) in February for the use of Twitter data issued a code of ethics. They suggest that the scientists do not disclose the relevant user name, don’t publish research purposes.

, for example, though not in violation of morality to collect information from the public space, and Twitter is a public space, but in the case of without the consent of the others share their identity information is morally wrong. Reeves and lewis believes, scientists will need to protect users’ privacy as the basic principle of Twitter research project – the data, the greater the responsibility. (the woodcutter)

source: sina science and technology