Massive digital datasets, such as social media data, provide the opportunity to study language use and behaviour in a variety of social situations on a very large scale. However, to fully leverage their potential for research in the social sciences, new computational approaches are needed. First, I discuss case studies featuring Twitter and Urban Dictionary. I then conclude with my perspective on a few big challenges in this emerging area.
Dong Nguyen is a research fellow at the Turing Institute and affiliated with Edinburgh University. Previously, she was a PhD student at the University of Twente. She is interested in developing text mining methods that can help answer questions from the social sciences and the humanities. She especially enjoys working with social media data. Her work has been featured by various news outlets, including the New York Times and Time Magazine. She has a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.