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Twitter asks academics to delete data or pay $42k per month


Twitter has asked academics to delete the Twitter data they have using for academic purposes. Or in another case, sign up for API access that will cost them $42,000 per month.

For a long time, academic researchers have used Twitter feeds to observe and analyze stuff like the prevalence of misinformation and its effect on the offline world. To help with this research, the company granted an API named the Decahose. A bulk data feed containing a random 10% of all daily Twitter posts was made available as a result. This was either available without charge or for as little as $200 a month.

In April, the company decided to remove access to all of its APIs. It decided to provide APIs on a paid basis. The fee for these APIs is in the range of $100/month to $42K/month. Given this change, several third-party Twitter applications, including Tweetbot and Twitterific were impacted. Furthermore, it had a major impact on the failure of the emergency warning systems.

Followed by this, Twitter warned academic institutions that if they didn’t pay for an “enterprise level” API membership, which costs $42K a month, they would lose access to the Decahose. For scholars, this is entirely out of reach.

Researchers are required to delete historical Twitter data

As of now, we have come across the announcement by the company that academics must pay or delete the data. As per a report from The Independent, the researchers have set a deadline to delete the data obtained from the platform. Furthermore, academics will be required to share screenshots of the deleted data as pieces of evidence. Academics have been granted a time frame of 30 days to delete the data and post screenshots before the expiry date of the agreement.

According to Filippo Menczer, director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, “The changes to the Twitter API are having catastrophic effects on our research into the dissemination of false information. We are unable to report its harms, which include the exploitation of social media, and the exposure of people and platforms to online abuse.” Menczer further noted that Twitter is rendering it impossible to carry out the research. It will become more difficult to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities and pathologies of social media. In addition to this, some academics noted that this change requires them to abandon their research. Some other researchers have opted to scrape data unofficially which is a comparatively less consistent approach.

Brain Curry

Brian is the news author at Research Snipers which mainly covers Technology News, Microsoft News, Google News, Facebook, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, and other tech news.

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