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What Happens When the Way to “Follow the Medium” Changes?: A Reflection About Emerging Perspectives in the Post-API Era

What Happens When the Way to “Follow the Medium” Changes?: A Reflection About Emerging Perspectives in the Post-API Era
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Author(s): Suania Acampa (University of Naples Federico II, Italy), Giuseppe Michele Padricelli (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) and Rosa Sorrentino (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 12
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Gabriella Punziano (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) and Angela Delli Paoli (University of Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8473-6.ch010

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Abstract

Digital methods allow social researchers and IT professionals to work together to produce instruments to comprehend current social phenomena. To develop these tools, they felt the need to “follow the medium” by reorganizing their data collection and analysis strategies on what they learned from the medium. For many years, digital research has been based on application programming interfaces (APIs) querying, an approach based on the extraction of records of data made available by the platforms through their programming interfaces. But what happens when the way to “follow the medium” changes? This contribution addresses the methodological challenges and the potential alternatives in research activities that affect the researchers' role due to recent restrictions. Two examples of research experience conducted before the APIs' closure are proposed in order to lead towards an initial reflection on its critical effects.

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