Two computer scientists, Derel Ruths, and Juergen Pfeffer conducted a study on reliability on social media data and published their findings in an article in the journal Science. The paper was published in the November28 issue of the Journal Science. As per the publication, data collections done via social media are considered as fraught with inbuilt biases. They do not give fair and true view of ‘human behavior.’ The users of social media websites are aware that content available is imaginary, fanciful and misleading. The paper covered various issues that exist while collecting social media data sets.
Scientists have been using social media data to write various papers based on their findings. It indicates that till this time what they considered as an accurate estimation is biased data based on incomplete information. Derek Ruths of McGill University School of Computer Science said that many of the published papers are used to validate investments and other decisions among the public and in government and industry. Juergen Pfeffer, who is a software research staffer of Carnegie Mellon institute, also joined Ruth in the study.
The researchers need to be more aware of the topic when they work with social media data. Biases play a vital role in gathering data from various social media platforms. The incomplete information or inaccuracy impacts the findings considerably. Ruth mentioned that scientists are working acutely and focusing more on techniques to resolve the issues faced in social media data collection process. It is also their duty to analyze the findings and studies before publishing them.
Pfeffer said that researchers can get attracted to use the social media data despite knowing that it can be flawed. The inclination to do so is strong as in the present world social media users convey everything happening in or around the world on social media platform. So, researchers get to analyze the behavior of people for free.