Data not individual but aggregate

If you’re like most college students I’ve talked to and the young adults who respond to survey questions, you are aware of privacy concerns about online information but not particularly worried about your risk. Perhaps this is because you experience an increasingly digital world; when everything is digital, it makes physical copies and objects feel more vulnerable.

Whatever the cause, you are likely willing to share a great deal of personal information across multiple platforms. The platforms then have a lot of specific information about the things that people think, say, do, prefer, and believe. And anywhere there’s a large data set, researchers want to investigate. The Facebook and Dataclysm readings about data use show what some of the studies look like.

The take-away for today involves:

  • What Facebook learned about emotional contagion from their study.
  • The caveats we should remember about this study’s findings.
  • What implications these situations have for future studies and our online behavior.
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