The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has put the use of social media data into question. The way in which the consulting company has misappropriated Facebook user information jeopardizes the general use of social media data for public research. Amidst this debate, the New York Times quotes Paul-Jasper Dittrich who calls for a more prudent handling of user data for scientific purposes. However, the legitimate call for more restrictive data protection should not prevent social media research altogether. “To know the real interaction between populism and Facebook, you need to give much more access to researchers, not less”, Dittrich argued.
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