Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Linking Twitter and survey data: the impact of survey mode and demographics on consent rates across three UK studies

Al Baghal, Tarek, Sloan, Luke ORCID:, Jessop, Curtis, Williams, Matthew L. ORCID: and Burnap, Pete ORCID: 2020. Linking Twitter and survey data: the impact of survey mode and demographics on consent rates across three UK studies. Social Science Computer Review 38 (5) , pp. 517-532. 10.1177/0894439319828011

[thumbnail of 0894439319828011.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (218kB) | Preview


In light of issues such as increasing unit nonresponse in surveys, several studies argue that social media sources such as Twitter can be used as a viable alternative. However, there are also a number of shortcomings with Twitter data such as questions about its representativeness of the wider population and the inability to validate whose data you are collecting. A useful way forward could be to combine survey and Twitter data to supplement and improve both. To do so, consent within a survey is first needed. This study explores the consent decisions in three large representative surveys of the adult British population to link Twitter data to survey responses and the impact that demographics and survey mode have on these outcomes. Findings suggest that consent rates for data linkage are relatively low, and this is in part mediated by mode, where face-to-face surveys have higher consent rates than web versions. These findings are important to understand the potential for linking Twitter and survey data but also to the consent literature generally.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0894-4393
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2019
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 22:54

Citation Data

Cited 32 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics