This case study describes data collection from Twitter, conducted with the intent of capturing conversations following from President Trump’s and others’ use of the #MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) hashtag in Twitter posts during the first 100 days of his presidential administration. Data was collected between November 2016 and May 2017, using Twitter’s public search, user timeline, and streaming APIs. The article discusses the ethical implications of collecting data from Twitter and describes the impact of Twitter’s terms of service and API policies on data collection and research.
Librarians engaged with data literacy and research conduct programs can support researchers in developing awareness of the context sensitivities of social media research. Data librarians and others involved with data management planning can where applicable provide guidance and resources to support ethical social media data collection and management. Twitter and other social media datasets which may be published within library supported institutional or data repositories must meet policy requirements.