[Air-L] crawling SNS data (was: Help with Facebook Research)

Christophe Prieur christophe.prieur at liafa.jussieu.fr
Tue Oct 9 09:18:27 PDT 2007

Hi there,

> I expect that one of the real goals of that point of the TOS is to prevent
> someone from slurping out all of 'their' (our) data and using it to set up
> a competing SNS.  Maybe not in quite those terms - but effectively.

Actually this discussion is very interesting to me.  I work in a research
project on self-organization in social networks.  One of our main objects
of study is flickr and one of our first actions was to, well, harvest not
far from the whole database using the API.

Of course we did not download the photos themselves, information
registered as private on the site (inaccessible via the API anyway) nor
profile information (real name, city, gender etc.).

We've read carefully the terms of use of the API and we don't appear to
have broken any of them.  Still, it's not like we're much comfortable
about this very nice database we've got now and when it comes to publish
things about it, we have some difficult questions to answer...

The idea in the first place was to publish quite quickly some basic
figures and results and make public the whole (anonymized) database.  We
still haven't.  Actually we still haven't decided whether/how to discuss
the issue with the flickr team... :o)

Christophe Prieur, [name at liafa dot jussieu dot fr]
Liafa, University Paris Diderot

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