T23: Social Media Analysis for the Masses: Extracting and Analyzing Data from Facebook, Twitter, and Co.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, 13:30 – 17:30


Dr. Margeret Hall (short bio)

School of Interdisciplinary Informatics
University of Nebraska Omaha, United States



It is indisputable that social media and the Internet more broadly reshaped information disbursement and processing [2]. Digital participation and communication are the 'new normal' [1] and the dividing line between off- and online communities is increasingly blurred [4]. This leads to specific challenges in the extraction and analysis of online social media data, and the management of new communication. This need is more pressing in the face of recent findings from Pew Research, a majority of U.S. adults – 62% – read the news on social media platforms, where 18% do so frequently. Two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) get news on the site, 59% get news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform [3, 5].



The overarching goal of the tutorial is to leverage methods learned in-session to execute a social media analytics study. You will work in (preferably interdisciplinary) teams of 2 or 3, and are expected to bring your own laptop. At the conclusion of the Social Media Analysis tutorial, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the basics of analysing social media via hands on sessions with Facebook, Twitter and the R Statistical program
  • Access data from social media websites
  • Create visualisations of social media data
  • Choose and run appropriate analysis methods
  • Rapidly prototype in a team-based environment



In this tutorial we will explore the methods that facilitate Social Media Analysis, with a focus on Facebook, Twitter and location-based services. Starting environments will be provided. The course will begin with short tutorials on the different platforms, methods to access public data, and common analysis methods. Participants will implement their project with the help of the instructor throughout the session in lab-style periods.
The primary teaching method is a three-part structure per week, including lecture, demonstration, and discussion. Examples will be primarily based on Facebook, Twitter, and R. In addition to introducing basic concepts, the course will provide enough structure to help understand how the advanced material in the HCII 2018 program fits into the overall field.


Target Audience:

This is an intermediate session on Social Media Analysis. Graduate students, new faculty and practitioners are welcome. A technical aptitude or familiarity a web scripting language is good but not essential. Participants should bring their own laptops in order to partake in the lab session.


Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Dr. Margeret Hall is an Assistant Professor of IT Innovation with the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Before this, she was a Senior Researcher and head of the Strategic Initiative ‘Participation and Crowd Services’ at the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI). Dr. Hall’s research investigates the integration of digital systems and people, and the digital lifestyle. Her PhD concentrated on the measurement of health and happiness for the creation of sentiment-based indicators for community management, specifically in the case of online communities. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked at the United Nations Office in Geneva and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Audit and Legal Affairs, and at Bayer Business Services in Training and Process Management. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Policy studies in the United States, Lebanon, and Switzerland. As a member of the ACM-W Scholarships committee, she actively promotes the gender equality in science in technology by raising awareness of the importance of women in STEM professions. You can find her at: http://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-information-science-and-technology/about/faculty-staff/magie-hall.php and https://www.linkedin.com/in/magie-hall-7b0b454.


[1]      Caton, S. et al. 2015. How do politicians use Facebook? An applied Social Observatory. Big Data & Society. 2, 2 (Dec. 2015), 2053951715612822.

[2]      Cioffi-Revilla, C. 2010. Computational social science. Computational Statistics. 2, 3 (May 2010), 259–271.

[3]      Duggan, M. et al. 2014. Pew Social Media Report 2015.

[4]      Hall, M. and Caton, S. 2016. Online Engagement and Well-being at Higher Education Institutes : A German Case Study. IFIP Networking’16 (2016), 542–547.

[5]      Hampton, K. 2014. Social Media and the “ Spiral of Silence .”