Evaluation of consent to link Twitter data to survey data

Evaluation of consent to link Twitter data to survey data
Zeina Mneimneh
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, December 2022; 185(S2) pp 364-386
This study presents an initial framework describing factors that could affect respondents’ decisions to link their survey data with their public Twitter data. It also investigates two types of factors, those related to the individual and to the design of the consent request. Individual‐level factors include respondents’ attitudes towards helpful behaviours, privacy concerns and social media engagement patterns. The design factor focuses on the position of the consent request within the interview. These investigations were conducted using data that was collected from a web survey on a sample of Twitter users selected from an adult online probability panel in the United States. The sample was randomly divided into two groups, those who received the consent to link request at the beginning of the survey, and others who received the request towards the end of the survey. Privacy concerns, measures of social media engagement and consent request placement were all found to be related to consent to link. The findings have important implications for designing future studies that aim at linking social media data with survey data.

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