Twitter Developer Feedback

Twitter for Academic Research

As we plan for the future of our developer platform we want to learn more from our academic community. What tools and resources would make it easier for you to conduct research with Twitter data, and what should we consider building?

  1. See what other ideas have been submitted and vote for ideas you like.
  2. If you have an idea that isn't already listed, create a new post.
  3. Include only one idea per post.

To start, we have added in a few ideas that have been suggested by developers in the past. Please vote or comment on those, if they reflect your own vision.

Thank you for participating!


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  1. Informed Consent API

    Implement an API / Bulk access call to notify users that their tweets were / are used in a study, with the option to opt-out, or opt-in to more information from the researcher. Maybe a DM with links to IRB / Home Institution / Researcher contact details?

    Ideally, i'd like to notify and ask permission from people - in the past, i've implemented this as a Twitter list, adding people to give them some notification - but this doesn't give people an easy opt-out.

    Given the number of times data is used, maybe an equivalent to the list of advertisers…

    46 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  5 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Predefined datasets

    I'd like access to predefined datasets that provide ideas for my research and make it easy to get started.

    This falls as a more-involved way for Twitter as a cooperation to support academic research on its platform (rather than just extending API limits for .edu emails etc..) but one avenue for very supportive, engaged involvement would be curation and publication of topics.

    That is to say, imagine Twitter itself publishes corpora of tweet IDs corresponding to major events like natural disasters, political events, etc... This creates a streamlined way for those studying the social dynamics surrounding major events to implement…

    25 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  4 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Nominate non-profit intermediaries for Firehose and other complete data APIs

    Take part in Social Science One (https://socialscience.one/ ) and/or work with other non-profit intermediaries such as academic libraries and data providers (for example GESIS in Germany) for Firehose access or access to the complete follow network or other large scale data. They have the most experience when it comes to researchers' needs and can act as a trustworthy partner when it comes to protecting user privacy and the like.

    21 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Twitter Trends API

    Many common research use-cases would be greatly facilitated by an API that could return summary level information. For instance, for any subset of tweets based on a particular query term(s) and period:


    • hourly/daily/weekly counts of matching tweets


    • histogram data of top hashtags / handles referenced / links shared


    • proportion of retweets / replies / first posts


    • proportion of dataset generated by top n contributors


    These would be very valuable from a purely research perspective, but presumably they present considerable challenges for implementation. But a methodology similar to Google Trends might be possible.

    12 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  1 comment  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. We need an API to validate our bot/troll detection techniques.

    What I would like is the ability to use an API to alert Twitter to the presence of malicious actors interfering in elections. Ideally, it would be process whereby we crowd source and gamify the detection pieces, with Twitter's decision to suspend (or not) as the ultimate validation determining who is best at the game.

    Recently, I sent 500 Canadian election Twitter IDs our model saw as bots/automated to a third party scholar: Kurt Wirth <kurtawirth@gmail.com>. I asked him if I could share his response to what I sent, he said yes. His response is below:

    ---------- Forwarded…

    7 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Retrieve random tweet from the index (new API call)

    Deploy a new API call to retrieve a random tweet from the index. Would be an important asset for characterization studies.

    9 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  3 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. Advertisement API

    Access data about ads, reach, accounts promoted by, engagements.

    6 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  2 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Consider Different Automated Account Regulation for Academics Running Studies with Bost

    Bot-based research is an important frontier in several different academic fields, but post requests are often censored or accounts associated with such posts are often suspended-- even if they do not seem to violate Twitter's automated account policies. Perhaps there could be a mechanism where academics could petition twitter not to censor bots that are being used for academic research (assuming, very importantly, that they have been carefully vetted by IRB and/or ethics officers within Twitter)?

    7 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliante stream

    Doing research in europe is becoming harder, and GDPR add some difficult on exploiting data. I would like to know if data that we can get with the Stream API can be Anonymized.

    5 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. Extract data without writing code

    I'd like to directly access Twitter data without needing to write code to collect data from the API.

    5 votes

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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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