For science, Twitter is a particularly interesting topic. On the one hand, the platform is a popular tool among researchers for networking and communicating their work. On the other hand, Twitter is also a popular object of research, as Twitter data can be used to explore political discourse, for example. Unlike most other social networks, the platform offers researchers extensive access to its archive of all tweets ever posted, which goes back to 2006. The HBI also conducts research in some projects with data obtained from this archive.
It is unclear how the new head of Twitter will handle this "academic access". Jan-Hinrik Schmidt cannot imagine that he would close it completely. "It seems plausible to me that he will make academia pay and only grant access to the archive by paying for it."
The platform Mastodon, founded in Germany, has suddenly caught the attention of many people and is being treated as a "Twitter alternative". Jan-Hinrik Schmidt has also been active on Mastodon since Musk's Twitter takeover. For science and its communication, it will be relevant where the target groups are that it wants to reach. "Should there actually be mass migration to Mastodon, it would of course make sense for scientists and scientific institutions to move there as well.
BredowCast Episode 73
„Mit Twitterdaten forschen” mit Philipp Kessling ["Conducting Research with Twitter Data" with Philipp Kessling]
Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt