Social Media as Mirror of Society

Social Media as Mirror of Society

Amir Manzoor (Bahria University, Pakistan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2031-3.ch007
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Over the last decade, social media use has gained much attention of scholarly researchers. One specific reason of this interest is the use of social media for communication; a trend that is gaining tremendous popularity. Every social media platform has developed its own set of application programming interface (API). Through these APIs, the data available on a particular social media platform can be accessed. However, the data available is limited and it is difficult to ascertain the possible conclusions that can be drawn about society on the basis of this data. This chapter explores the ways social researchers and scientists can use social media data to support their research and analysis.
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Social Media And Social Research

This section would provide a general overview of the use of social media data for social research. After providing a broad definition of social media, the chapter moves on to describe the usefulness for social science research of the data generated by the social media platforms. Though applications are still in nascent stages, the online social media holds promising potential to predict public opinion on different issues and the sources of information masses look for information about these topics. The chapter also compares social media with traditional social science research methods (such as sample surveys) to highlight their associated strengths and weaknesses.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Privacy: Refers to the right to be let alone, or freedom from interference or intrusion.

Public Relations: A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

Population Bias: A type of bias which could influence the results of big data projects.

Big Data: Refers to the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that a business deals with on a day-to-day basis.

Human Behavior: Refers to the array of every physical action and observable emotion associated with individuals, as well as the human race as a whole.

Social Media Platform: A software that helps brands engage their consumers across social media networks like Facebook.

Public Opinion: Refers to an aggregate of the individual views, attitudes, and beliefs about a particular topic.

Social media: Social media refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

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