Up to now this course has been great!  The mix of videos and readings have been helpful in understanding digital data, and more specifically big data.  Reading the text and research articles, the conversations and research regarding the dynamics of big data illustrate a topic that is still evolving with a range of opinions.  I find most interesting the conversations surrounding the rights and protections of those who use social media- are the social media platforms “public” or do they come with some sense of information security from researchers, marketers, etc.  I have found the literature review assignments quite useful, I like the format of collecting references and narrowing down to most relevant and then converting to the outline format- I have not taken that approach before now.  I personally am finding some of the Data Camp trainings to be easy to follow while others specific skills in the chapters are a bit more challenging- for me especially when differentiating between lists, arrays, and dictionaries- and indexing within each, AND when working through the various generations in HTML.  I have also found the application of ethics to digital data and big data interesting.  There is a great deal to consider when examining how researchers should approach using big data and how to best protect participants.  There seemed to be a shared opinion upon many of us that transparency as well as following well defined research practices including IRB protocols is a useful way to help ensure participant data is used properly.  The video regarding data privacy and security from Marie Wallace brought up some interesting points, and helps provide  examples of why digital data and the usage of such by companies and others is so important- there is actually a person at the end of those data trails and transparency and building trust can go a long way in respecting the established and unestablished rights of users.  I am curious and excited to be producing my own data/output to support my research question- I thought the production of various graphs (plots, histograms, timelines) was cool- to use programming to produce those results was rewarding.  I am specifically interested in how body shaming occurs in social media spaces and I will most likely look to Twitter as my data source.

Here is just one of the many examples of how body shaming is such a problem, and although it is a celebrity example (which brings up many other conversations and considerations) the point of the Twitter post had nothing to do with one’s body.  That individuals are being driven to negative self image and eating disorders because of body shaming online is a sad but true phenomena.


Wochit Entertainment. (April, 2015). Pink tells fat-shaming twitter trolls she is. Retrieved from

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