In the last exercise, we used an application developed by Martin Hawksey to collect tweets and their metadata using the Twitter Search API and Google’s API. Before carrying on, I would raise an issue from the exercise 4, which was about creating an application to obtain access to Twitter’s API. The second step of creating the application was to fill in an online form, which include several identifying fields and ended up with the developer agreement. The main concept of this agreement is that as we will have an access to the Twitter’s API, we have to comply with the rules and conditions mentioned in the agreement. Any attempt to misconduct or abuse this agreement, the user account might be suspended or blocked.
Here is a part of the agreement:
You will not attempt to exceed or circumvent limitations on access, calls and use of the Twitter API (“Rate Limits”), or otherwise use the Twitter API in a manner that exceeds reasonable request volume, constitutes excessive or abusive usage, or otherwise fails to comply or is inconsistent with any part of this Agreement. If you exceed or Twitter reasonably believes that you have attempted to circumvent Rate Limits, controls to limit use of the Twitter APIs or the terms and conditions of this Agreement, then your ability to use the Licensed Materials may be temporarily suspended or permanently blocked. Twitter may monitor your use of the Twitter API to improve the Twitter Service and to ensure your compliance with this Agreement.
There is one issue about this agreement, why there is a limitation in the information although it is already in the public domain. However, they are entitled to monitor my account or they might sign an agreement with any organization to use our information for any purposes. To be honest, I don’t mind that my Twitter’s account will be accessed by anyone because the social media is to network with others, so why Twitter impose restrictions on the information they release.
Ernesto Priego said in his post Publicly available data from Twitter is public evidence and does not necessarily constitute an “ethical dilemma”.
“There is a wealth of information in a tweet’s metadata that can be beneficial for research in fields other than the Life Sciences. The act of archiving and disseminating public information publicly does not have to be cause for an “ethical dilemma”, as long as the archived and disseminated information was public in the first instance”.
Martin Hawksey has reported in one of his posts the development in Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet (TAGS), and he said the biggest change for TAGS is that all requests now need authenticated access. Back to exercise 5, I’ve went through the instructions and everything was fine, in step 27 I searched for the hashtag #citylis , and then I did steps 28,29 and 30 successfully. When I got the archive of this hashtag for the last 7 days and then moved to step 31 and 32 to carry on, the screen was suspended once I clicked on Add summary sheet. I’ve repeated this exercise three times, and in each time I faced the same problem. However, from step 30, I obtained a summary of the archive of this hashtag, and we can say most of the tweets were between 9 and 11 in the morning, and 16 to 21 in the evening. This service provides me with vital information about the best time of my friends to participate in this hashtag. The question now is what other information we can obtain from Twitter’s API, and to what extent we could access these information.