skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Twitter Study Participants Unaware 'Tweets' are Fair Game

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 29, 2018   

DES MOINES, Iowa – New legal and ethical questions surrounding the business practices of Facebook seem to surface daily. But at the same time, a new survey finds most Twitter users don't realize that university researchers and others collect and analyze their 'tweets' in the name of science.

Casey Fiesler is an assistant professor at the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado, and the coauthor of a study on how tweets are used. Of about 68 million active U.S. Twitter users, Fiesler says 268 were surveyed, with an average age of 32.

"So this was a survey, and we asked people generally how they felt about this, whether they were previously aware; and one of the striking things we found was that the majority of our participants had no idea, previously, that this was a thing that could happen," she says.

Sixty-two percent of the people surveyed did not know researchers used their tweets, and 61 percent thought it would be a breach of ethics. Twitter's privacy policy states that public information can be broadly disseminated to a wide range of users, including universities.

Fiesler says there are uses for 'tweeted' information in the name of science that may not be intended by people with Twitter accounts, but she doesn't think they need to stop using social media or lock-up their information.

"I think that most people know intellectually that Twitter is public, and I would actually say that research is one of the less harmful things that could happen with a tweet," she explains.

Fiesler says most survey respondents were more comfortable having a tweet they've posted analyzed along with millions of others, or quoted anonymously, rather than having tweets attributed to them when they are used.

"Lots of researchers also look at things like Instagram, Yelp reviews," adds Fiesler. "Anything that is just public, so that anyone on the Internet can see it, is a typical ethical heuristic, whether researchers can look at that data."

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and recommends that researchers develop ethical guidelines and standards for mining Twitter data from users.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, 22 states have passed laws to protect or expand access to abortion.

Health and Wellness

play sound

Nebraska physicians and their patients have been dealing with the state's 12-week abortion ban since it went into effect just over a year ago…


Environment

play sound

West Virginia and other Appalachian states are littered with hundreds of "zombie mines," abandoned mines neither producing coal nor undergoing reclama…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Ohio advocates said the Biden administration's new Title IX regulations better protect victims of sexual assault, even as a group of states …


Environment

play sound

Wildlife advocates say the current transition to clean energy will not only protect people in New Mexico communities, but also will have a huge …

A 2015 study by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank found the median net worth for white households in Greater Boston was $250,000, while for Black households it was just $8. Researchers are currently updating those findings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A Legislature-backed Commission on Poverty in Massachusetts aims to address the state's historic wealth gap. The commission will study demographic …

Social Issues

play sound

Teaching artists can now apply for grant funding centered on programs for older Wyomingites. The Creative Aging Project Grant, from the Wyoming Arts …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds New York's rising cost of living and having living-wage jobs are priority issues for young voters. Research shows a single …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021