National Australian Twitter Collection

  • Bruns, Axel (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Andrejevic, Mark (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Social media platforms serve as critical data sources on contemporary public debate, current events, and
the continuing evolution of public opinion. They enable the observation of societal dynamics at an
unprecedented level of detail and in close to real time, and provide insights both on acute, short-term,
current events and on the longitudinal, gradual change in views, attitudes, and communicative practices
over months, years, and decades. Additionally, social media platforms and their affordances are
themselves implicated in important social phenomena – for instance, current debates about ‘fake news’
and other forms of disinformation – and platform providers’ action or inaction on these matters directly
affects society. For all these reasons, social media data provide an excellent indicator of societal dynamics.
However, for technical and practical reasons the gathering of data from social media often remains
episodic, centred around key moments (elections, crises, events) and elite actors (politicians, journalists,
celebrities), with a significant international rather than Australian focus. This project addresses this gap in
the data landscape by establishing a truly National Australian Twitter Collection (NATC), which
comprehensively and continuously gathers data on the public Twitter activities of Australian users, and
makes this dataset available to researchers at Australian universities. Led by Australia’s premier research
institution in the field, the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, and
building on the groundwork provided by the TrISMA ARC LIEF project (LE140100148, 2014-16), the NATC
substantially enhances Australian researchers’ ability to draw on a comprehensive and reliable dataset of
Australian social media activities; in doing so, it also serves as a blueprint for further extension across
additional social media platforms, beyond Twitter itself.
Effective start/end date1/09/191/09/20


  • twitter
  • archive