Social science offers sophisticated methods for governments to better understand social media. The London School of Economics & Political Science argues that social scientists are using their research techniques to improve meaningful collection of social data using social media. Social scientists are also working towards managing the tremendous amounts of data publicly available via social media (known as the “Big Data” problem).
Data from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, websites, news sources, web forums, public e-commerce sites, public information on web search terms, and other technologies can be used to better inform social policy. Such data can also help track and plan for future socio-economic crises. Social scientists are also ideally positioned to help inform new policy challenges arising from social media. This includes privacy, online safety and other public practices that impact on public health and civic participation.
Source: Social Media and Public Policy: What is the Evidence? (Free PDF report http://bit.ly/1gU9yq2) LSE blog: http://bit.ly/1gU9yGm