Malte Heckelen

Computational Social Science |

Digital Humanities

Help me gather data for science!

Deutsche Version

I am a social scientist and work at the Digital Humanities department of the University of Stuttgart. For my side project, I gather Twitter data through the official Twitter API ("Application Programming Interface"). Such APIs have so-called rate limits that only allow a certain number of searches per time interval, e.g. 30 queries per minute. Other queries are much more limited (if you get back lists of followers, for instance). While it is not impossible to gather enough data with the usual rate limits, it takes a lot more time. Weeks and months, instead of days.

Gathering data works by registering an "app" at the API that can have users. In my case, the app is just the program I wrote to interact with the API and query it for data. The more users it has, the more the rate limits loosen up. View it as a legitimization in the eyes of Twitter: The more users I have, the more legitimate my app is and the bigger the limits should be.

If you have a Twitter account and want to help, click on the button below. You will be redirected to Twitter where you can give permission. Twitter will also explicitly list what my app will have access to (and also what it does not have access to).


Thank you for your donation!