Jürgen Pfeffer: “Studying Human Behavior with Data from Social Media Platforms”

Issues and challenges when working with API data and the future of social media research in a possible post API world.


May 8th 2023

  • 15:00 – 16:00 CEST
  • TU Wien, Campus Favoritenstraße, FAV Hörsaal 1
  • 1040 Wien, Favoritenstraße 9-11
    Erdgeschoß, Raum HEEG02


Social media has become a ubiquitous part of our lives, providing us with an unprecedented amount of data about our behaviors, attitudes, and interactions. This data has the potential to provide insights into a wide range of social phenomena, from political polarization to the spread of misinformation. Large platforms have historically offered researchers access to platform data via APIs. Due to lack of transparency, data from these APIs, while being used for innumerable projects in research and teaching, present numerous challenges, including issues of representativeness and data quality. Recently, a strategy shift of the large social media platforms has made data access via APIs increasingly challenging – e.g., Twitter, which has offered the most popular APIs, is in the process of closing-down API data access. In this talk, I will discuss issues and challenges when working with API data and elaborate on the future of social media research in a possible post API world.

About Jürgen Pfeffer

Jürgen Pfeffer is a professor of Computational Social Science & Big Data at the School of Social Sciences and Technology of the Technical University of Munich. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Software Research, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. His research deals with the analysis of dynamic large-scale social, political, and economic systems, as well as the methodological, algorithmic, and theoretical challenges that arise from these analyses.