Linking survey and social media data

Publication type

Understanding Society Working Paper Series

Series Number



Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Publication date

March 11, 2020


In light of issues such as increasing unit non-response in surveys, several studies argue that social media sources can be used as a viable alternative. However, there are also a number of shortcomings with social media data, such as questions about its representativeness of the wider population and the inability to validate whose data you are collecting. A useful way forward could be to link survey data and social media data to supplement and improve both. This Working Paper will explore various facets and issues of linking survey and social media data. These facets and issues include: the current context of surveys and social media, particularly in the UK; the availability of data from various social media sites; gaining consent for linkage, linking and collecting the data, usage of the linked data; archiving and re-use of the linked data. 


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