Building Apps & Bots for Social Science Research

Chris Bail
Duke University

Part I: APPS

Salganik’s List of the Weaknesses of Digital Trace Data:

 

Incomplete
Inaccessible
Non-Representative
Drifting
Algorithmic Confounding
Dirty
Sensitive

But What Are the Alternatives?

 

But What Are the Alternatives?

 

-Survey response rates continue to drop

But What Are the Alternatives?

 

-Survey response rates continue to drop

-Many of the most important questions require longitudinal/relational/qualitative data

But What Are the Alternatives?

 

-Survey response rates continue to drop

-Many of the most important questions require longitudinal/relational/qualitative data

-Digital trace data have a number of major advantages that conventional sources do not (big, always on, non-reactive)

Can We Have Our Cake and Eat It Too?

Apps Can Address Many Limitations

 

Incomplete
Inaccessible
Non-Representative
Drifting
Algorithmic Confounding
Dirty
Sensitive

Example: The Viralgorithm