Ongoing work at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) over the past several years identified the importance of access to socially relevant data in order for researchers to address large issues that enhance scholarly knowledge and also inform, empower, and protect the public interest. However,as noted in the SSRC’s 2018 “To Secure Knowledge” report,,,,while in the past much of data used by social researchers was gathered by governments and nonprofits, today much of the most relevant data is held by private companies. Although social media platforms are beginning to engage the broader research community, critical questions of public importance—such as the role of social media in democratic politics—need to be addressed now with both new and existing approaches that meet the highest scientific and ethical standards.

Social Data Research and Dissertation FellowshipSSRC提供的程序社交数据计划and supported by the Omidyar Network, seeks to encourage multifaceted pathways for the collection and analysis of social data, with the larger aim of cultivating robust research on technology and society. Multiple pathways for journalistic and academic study of proprietary socially relevant data are necessary in order to build a robust culture of research and accountability and therefore better protect democracy and the public.


所选项目将为2020年大选提供重要和及时的观点。从研究不平等对政治参与的影响到探索错误和虚假信息的普遍性和影响,授予的项目还反映了一系列方法论和纪律方法:实验,计算和小组调查,内容分析以及人种学访谈,例如以及计算文本分析,情感分析和其他自然语言处理方法,用于社交媒体数据集。项目将加强对极化,毒性和不平等影响选举的学术理解。向社会数据研究研究员布鲁克·福柯·威尔斯(Brooke Foucault Welles)提供的赠款支持一个项目,该项目在Twitter和其他独特的研究数据上,将研究边缘化团体如何体验政治声音,注意力和参与美国,以及如何将其转化为政治行为在2020年选举中。社会数据研究研究员阿什利·穆迪曼(Ashley Muddiman)将通过定量内容分析和实验来探索针对女性候选人在2020年大选期间的不可活力的理解。其他奖励的项目研究了社交媒体研究,信任和怀疑论的伦理,以及匿名对政治和有毒的演讲的影响,以及许多其他主题。

每个项目还带来了独特的比较,这些文化ral, and historical context to the study of social data drawn from a wide range of platforms, including common social media platforms like Twitter, reddit, and Facebook, streaming video platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, recommendation systems from Amazon, and even gaming platforms like World of Warcraft. Social Data Research Fellow Jennifer Evans will analyze how historical analogy is deployed to normalize misinformation in both the Covid-19 crisis and the 2020 US election, while Crystal Lee, a Social Data Dissertation Fellow, explores how visualizations and graphics circulated through social media can both serve the public good and be manipulated to spread misinformation. While many projects focus on national politics, several also emphasize local and state elections, including Dissertation Fellow Stephanie Ternullo’s comparative study of three midwestern towns.

这se examples represent just a few of the projects underway with support from the Omidyar Network. Overall, the fifteen projects represent nearly $500,000 in funding that will further our understanding of how social data and media platforms play a daily role in our lives, expand the scholarly methodological toolkit, and generate valuable datasets and findings for future research.