Podcast: Coronavirus and Web Data Analysis

Simone Lombardini Methodology, Real Geek

Social media has the potential to profoundly influence the way society works. Social media has been used for understanding crowd sizes from Instagram posts and to analyse hate speech and to understand presidential elections. Or more recently to improve our understanding of the lived realities of women and girls.

So, how can we gather data from social media platforms and use it to understand our current reality? Join the REAL Geek team, Simone Lombardini and Alexia Pretari as they interview Nicole Schwitter, author of the latest paper of our Going Digital series: Going digital: web data collection using twitter as an example

In this episode, recorded at the end of March 2020, they will consider how twitter can be used to understand how society is reacting to coronavirus. How has the use of “#COVID” changed in its use over time in different countries? They will also provide practical guidance around how to gather data from social media platform, Twitter specifically, as Nicole talks through the recently published guidelines. And whilst social media data can be useful, what are its limitations and the ethical considerations around collecting online data? 

Nicole Schwitter is a PhD candidate and research assistant at the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. 
Alexia Pretari is an Impact Evaluation Adviser at Oxfam GB and Simone Lombardini is the Global Impact Evaluation Lead at Oxfam. 

Links for publication and further reading

Going Digital: Web data collection using Twitter as an example. By Nicole Schwitter & Ulf

Active Citizenship in Tanzania: Impact Evaluation of the ‘Governance and Accountability through Digitalization’ project. By Alexia Pretari

Covid-19 Outbreak: Tweet Analysis on Face Masks  By Yanqing Shen

How did Twitter react to the Coronavirus pandemic? By Feng Lim

Image credit: 
Abdiaziz Adani – Oxfam


Nicole Schwitter


Alexia Pretari


Simone Lombardini