Researchers like Twitter because almost all tweets are open, and the com­pany pro­vides an easy way to down­load the data, says North­eastern Uni­ver­sity com­puter sci­en­tist Alan Mis­love, who worked on a study mea­suring “the pulse of the nation” pub­lished in 2010.

You can get a large sample of data that covers a whole country or sev­eral coun­tries,” he said. “You can get the text to look at sen­ti­ment, to look at pat­terns. This kind of data is being used by researchers in psy­chology, soci­ology, polit­ical sci­ence, geography.”


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