Tag: twitter

Adding the bling: The role of social media data intermediaries

Last month, Twitter announced the acquisition of Gnip, one of the main sources for social media data—including Twitter data. In my research I am interested in the politics of platforms and data flows in the social web and in this blog post I would like to explore the role of data intermediaries—Gnip in particular—in regulating access to social media data. I will focus on how Gnip regulates the data flows for social media APIs and how it capitalizes on these data flows. By turning the licensing of API access into an profitable business model the role of these data intermediaries have specific implications for social media research. The history of Gnip Gnip launched on July 1st, 2008 as a platform offering access to data from various social media sources. It was founded by Jud Valeski and MyBlogLog founder Eric Marcoullier as “a free centralized callback server that notifies data consumers (such as Plaxo) in real-time when there is new data about their users on various data producing sites (such as Flickr and Digg)” (Feld 2008). Eric Marcoullier’s background in blog service MyBlogLog is of particular interest as Gnip has taken core ideas behind the technical infrastructure of the blogosphere and has repurposed them for the […]

Continue Reading

On Retweet Analysis and a Short History of Retweets

On November 05, 2009 Twitter started a limited rollout of the ‘retweet’ feature to its users. The practice of retweeting has been invented two years earlier by Twitter community and the first ReTweet is often attributed to user Eric Rice. He is said to have coined the term ‘ReTweet’ on 18 April 2007: Rice’s ReTweet would soon be shortened to RT due to Twitter’s 140-character limit and the practice of retweeting was quickly adopted by other users, third-party application developers and eventually by Twitter itself. Users and third-party apps developed their own retweet practices. Most commonly the whole tweet would be copy pasted and prefixed with RT @username (of the original poster) but some users would modify the retweet slightly by editing it so it would fit the 140-character limit. This also gave rise to the ‘fake retweet’ by pretending to retweet an existing tweet, but instead, this tweet would be newly created. Such fake retweets often concern celebrities, where users will impersonate celebrities by creating (humorous) fake retweets. In addition, these fake retweets were used by spammers by including spammy links in the tweets to trick users into thinking a reliable account had sent out that link, and therewith posed a security problem for Twitter. In […]

Continue Reading

I’m violating Twitter’s Display Guidelines

Recently there has been quite some turmoil in the blogosphere concerning Twitter’s upcoming API changes. While reading the blogpost announcing some of the changes I noted that Twitter would be shifting from Display Guidlines to Display Requirements. When reading the current Display Guidelines I noticed that I am currently violating these guidelines by displaying tweets underneath my blogposts along with blog comments: “Timelines. 5. Timeline Integrity: Tweets that are grouped together into a timeline should not be rendered with non-Twitter content. e.g. comments, updates from other networks.” Using a plugin called Topsy Retweet Button I’ve been experimenting with gathering the distributed commentspaces, comments posted across different social media platforms related to one single blogpost, underneath the blogpost. The Topsy plugin treats tweets as trackbacks and adds them to your blog’s comment/trackback section. Unfortunately, due to insufficient PHP skills I have been unable to separate Tweets and comments, but that no longer may be a blog priority since it violates Twitter’s terms of service. Tracking or aggregating distributed commentspaces on one’s own blog has become increasingly difficult with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook increasingly limiting access to comments related to blog posts. I do not want to integrate […]

Continue Reading

An easy solution to remove your contacts from Twitter

Two days ago I wrote a post on ‘What does Twitter know about me? My .zip file with 50Mb of data‘ where I showed that Twitter is currently storing 152 phonenumbers and 1186 e-mail addresses from my contacts which have been imported when I used the Find Friends feature. However, it seems fairly simple to remove this data from Twitter (although it would require another request to be 100% sure that all contacts have been deleted) using the following instructions which have been provided by the Twitter Help Center: To remove contact info from Twitter after importing: You can remove imported contact info from Twitter at any time. (Note: Your Who to follow recommendations may not be as relavant after removing this info.) Click on Find Friends on the Discover page. Under the email provider list is a block of text. In that text there is a link to remove your contacts (highlighted below). Click remove, and you will be prompted to confirm that you’d like to remove your contacts.

Continue Reading

What does Twitter know about me? My .zip file with 50Mb of data

Three weeks ago I read a tweet from @web_martin who had requested all his data from Twitter under European law and received a .zip file with his data from Twitter. He linked to the Privacy International blog which has written down step by step how to request your own data. On March 27, 2012 I initiated my request following the instructions from the Privacy International blog, which included sending a fax (fortunately I work at the Mediastudies department) to Twitter with a copy of a photo ID (I blanked out all personal info, I just kept my picture and name visible) to verify my request. Within a day, after verification of my identity, I received an email reply with instructions to get my own basic data. These instructions were basically API calls which provide very limited data. While the above did not provide me with any new information I did appreciate the quick response from Twitter to point out how to get publicly accessible data through the API. However, I was more interested in the data that they keep but do not allow me to directly access, that is, without a legal request. Well within the 40-day timeframe, three weeks […]

Continue Reading

Citing Tweets in Academic Papers, or: The Odd Way of Citing Born-Digital Content

There is now an official Modern Language Association standard for referencing tweets: “How do I cite a tweet?“: Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone. Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example: Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet. What strikes me as absolutely odd is that the standard does not require a link to the tweet. While this is completely in line with their other standards, as citing blogs and websites also do not require a URL, both tweets and blogs, and most websites due to the increasing use of CMS-systems, use permalinks which makes them absolutely perfect for referencing. With born-digital material increasingly becoming citable material I hope the MLA is at least discussing the option of including the source of this born-digital material. And if we’re starting to consider to cite […]

Continue Reading
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next