The PEW research center conducts surveys on social media use in the US that provide some useful information for researchers using online video data in their research. For instance, the surveys can help illustrate the importance of online videos as data in current and future social sciences research.
This page collects news, thoughts, ideas and events related to 21st century video data.
July 14, 2022
Using online video data for research can entail complex issues of research ethics. Only because a video is accessible on public platforms such as YouTube or TikTok doesn’t mean that the people visible in videos gave consent to being filmed and the video being uploaded. A recent example of this was reported today in this …
May 13, 2022
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA, New York City’s public transportation provider), provides observational data on mask wearing compliance. This could be an interesting data source for researchers working on Covid and social interactions in public spaces (see, for instance, this paper and this paper by Marie Lindegaard, Wim Bernasco, and colleagues). Among other possibilities, the …
March 17, 2022
Video Data Analysis can be used for the detailed analysis of all types of events, including terrorist attacks. The NGO Forensic Architecture published a visual investigation of the racist terror attack in Hanau, Germany, on 19 February 2020, where nine people were murdered by a gunman. They combine and synchronise six CCTV camera perspectives and …
July 18, 2021
Video technology keeps evolving, and this constant evolution creates new tools for social scientists to collect data and study situational dynamics during events and processes. One such innovation is thermal imaging cameras. Thermal imaging recordings are able to capture states of body heat and changes therein. This allows researchers new insights into people’s emotions, because …
April 12, 2021
It has been a few months since the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 that left five people dead and triggered a second impeachment process of then-President Donald Trump. But it is worth revisiting the event as video researchers, because it provides a perfect example of the potential of how we can …
February 2, 2021
In his 2018 book “Bit by Bit,” Matthew Salganik describes one feature of digital trace data (such as Twitter or Facebook posts) as being “aways on,” meaning that such data are produced continuously without any researcher having to design a project, acquire funding, and start data collection. One exciting consequence of this is that digital …
October 21, 2020
A CNN article highlights how to distinguish deep fake videos from realones. They suggest checking for specific natural details, spottingpotential mismatches, and watching out for clues in the behaviour of theperson filmed or background. This can offer interesting insights for VDA researchers who use “ready-made” video data from online sources (i.e., video data they did …
August 12, 2020
The New York Times conducted a visual investigation on police use of force during a protest in Philadelphia in June 2020. The reporters use overhead video footage, numerous recordings from mobile phones on the ground, the video of a police car dash cam, area maps, interviews with protesters, and police documents. The visual investigation nicely …
July 17, 2020
We just published a short Essay on Oxford University Press’sAcademic Insights for the Thinking World. In it, we discuss two ways in which social science research can study human interaction during the Covid-19 pandemic. How do people adapt to social distancing and mask-wearing? How do interactions unfold during video calls?
March 3, 2020
Newsday published an investagation into racial discrimination in the housing market. They trained 25 undercover testers, who interacted with 93 real estate agents and secretly recorded 240 hours of meetings. The investigation is not only an indictment of unfair practices in the housing market, it shows interesting new ways to gather observational data in real-life …
The New Jersey Families Study – A potential data source for research on education, learning, and child development
February 4, 2020
This may be an interesting study for people working on education, learning, and child development: A team at Princeton collected video and survey data from over 20 families in New Jersey, filming interactions in their homes over a two-week period. As we understand, the data will eventually be accessible for other researchers. If you are …
January 22, 2020
In the age of online data, researchers and journalists face some of the same challenges when it comes to ensuring the veracity of a piece of data or source of information. Here’s a toolset that journalists use to gather and double-check online information. Maybe it includes some useful tools for researchers using videos and other …
January 7, 2020
We recently learned about a relatively new journal, Social Interaction. Video-based Studies of Human Sociality. We have not yet published with this journal, but it may be a potential destination for publishing some types of VDA research. The journal also looks like a great resource for insights into video-based research. For instance, in a recent …
November 20, 2019
The new VDA YouTube channel features interdisciplinary research talks on novel (qualitative and quantitative) ways to use video data in the social sciences. It includes talks by sociologists, education researchers, computer scientists, psychologists, criminologists and others. We will keep adding new videos and talks in the future, so keep checking in!
Video Surveillance Footage Shows How Rare Violence Really Is (Oxford University Press’s Academic Insights for the Thinking World, OUPblog).
November 13, 2019
Today videos from closed-circuit television, body cameras, police dash cameras, or mobile phones are increasingly used to capture violent events. Yet, examining footage of violent situations – from the very cameras set up because we believe that violence lurks around every corner – shows how rare violence really is. Continue reading.
October 23, 2019
As AI becomes an increasingly powerful and accessible tool to change video content or create entirely fabricated videos from scratch, such deepfake videos will become an increasing issue for social scientists. In this article, The Guardian reports on a new app enabling users to create deepfake videos within minutes.
October 23, 2019
In a major escalation of violence since protests began four months ago, the Hong Kong police fired a live round at a protester from point-blank range. The New York Times analyzed the footage to create a comprehensive picture of what exactly happened.
September 13, 2019
As social researchers interested in video data, computer vision approaches to video analysis are an exciting prospect. However, the potential dangers of powerful automated video analysis are all too real, as this article in the New York Times, explores in reference to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.