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Network thinking and Web Science

Watch Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt discuss the relevance of the study of networks to Web science.

In this short video, you meet leading Web scientists Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt who discuss the relevance of the study of networks to Web Science.

Web Science studies networks of computers, people, and information. The analysis of these combined elements has the potential to reveal information about individuals with a high level of detail.

Nigel argues that ‘data mining is one of the most powerful forms of analysis we can do’ (min. 1:03), and identifies how this could be a threat to our privacy. On the other hand, Wendy (min. 1.41) gives us an example on how data mining through network analysis could be beneficial for us as a society.

Both Nigel and Wendy discuss the threats and opportunities of extracting information from the networks existing in the Web, and they both mention a limit that should be drawn at some point.

Where would you draw that line? Can you think of examples where analysing social media data might not be appropriate?
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