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date: 14 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the use of social networking sites such as Twitter in measuring public opinion. It first considers the opportunities and challenges that are involved in conducting public opinion surveys using social media data. Three challenges are discussed: identifying political opinion, representativeness of social media users, and aggregating from individual responses to public opinion. The chapter outlines some of the strategies for overcoming these challenges and proceeds by highlighting some of the novel uses for social media that have fewer direct analogs in traditional survey work. Finally, it suggests new directions for a research agenda in using social media for public opinion work.

Keywords: social networking sites, Twitter, public opinion, public opinion surveys, social media, political opinion, representativeness

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