Reddit, Imgur and Twitch Join Forces as ‘Derp’ for Data Research

/ 3 years ago

Privacy call for internet browsing

Some of the biggest names in social media have joined forces to form The Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (Derp). Somehow I doubt that acronym is a coincidence. Derp will grant academic researchers unprecedented access to their respective sites data allowing for groups at Harvard, MIT and McGill to promote “open, publicly accessible, and ethical academic inquiry into the vibrant social dynamics of the web”.

It came about “as a result of Imgur talking with a number of other community platforms online trying to learn about how they work with academic researchers,” says Tim Hwang, the image-sharing site’s head of special initiatives.

“In most cases, the data provided through Derp will already be accessible through public APIs,” he says. “Our belief is that there are ways of doing research better, and in a way that strongly respects user privacy and responsible use of data.

“Derp is an alliance of platforms that all believe strongly in this. In working with academic researchers, we support projects that meet institutional review at their home institution, and all research supported by Derp will be released openly and made publicly available.”

Derp will allow for a single point of contact for researchers to get in touch with the right people within each parent company of the group. This will allow research to progress faster and smoother, removing many of the hurdles that were previously in place when dealing with these companies.

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It’ll likely be a while before we see the results of their work, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can come up with more than a database of the most popular cat memes by frequency of shares.

Thank you Guardian for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Guardian.

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