← Volume 12: Challenges and Perspectives of Hate Speech Research


Scraping Social Media Data as Platform Research

A data hermeneutical perspective

Jakob Jünger

Berlin, 2023
DOI 10.48541/dcr.v12.25 (SSOAR)

Abstract: Working with social media data is a hermeneutic procedure systematically guided by doubts about the meaning of data at all stages of the research process, from data collection and preparation to data analysis and publication. A short walk through the automated data collection workflow, as it is implemented in the open-source software Facepager, highlights some of the epistemic peculiarities of the process. The paper encourages researchers to deal with technical details, errors, and restrictions in order to gain a deeper understanding of the organizing principles of the web. Technical limitations and hurdles should not solely be considered as problems to be solved, but also as indicators of social processes on online platforms. Scraping social media data touches on key aspects of platformization and, therefore, is not merely a data collection method, but also a means of examining the online world through a data hermeneutical lens.


Jakob Jünger is Junior Professor for Digital Media and Computational Methods at the Institute of Communiction at the University of Münster, Germany. ORCID logo

Jünger, J. (2023). Scraping social media data as platform research: A data hermeneutical perspective. In C. Strippel, S. Paasch-Colberg, M. Emmer, & J. Trebbe (Eds.), Challenges and perspectives of hate speech research (pp. 427–441). Digital Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.48541/dcr.v12.25

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