[Air-L] Anonymizing Twitter handles

Maurice Vergeer m.vergeer at maw.ru.nl
Thu Apr 13 23:47:27 PDT 2017

If you do qualitative research and e.g. cite tweets, it's useless to
anonymize (as Michael states). If you do quantitative research the findings
will be so abstract that individual users will be hard to trace, but not
impossible depending on the number of variables and the number of

Still, anonymizing is fairly easy when you have the data in a statistical
program such as SPSS, R or even Excel: replace the userhandles with a
unique number (from 1 to N).
Then remove the userhandles from the dataset. Still I would advice always
to keep a secure file with both keyvariables userhandles and the new
identifyer for future resrearch.

Hope this helps.

On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:11 AM, Ye Na Lee <jpt2007 at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Dear subscribers to Association of Internet Researchers,
> I am currently going through IRB process for a research on Twitter data and
> I was told to anonymize Twitter handles completely. Are there any online
> programs with which I could anonymize usernames? I don`t think I should
> create fake Twitter handles for every single tweet that I quote on my
> paper. I`d really appreciate any suggestions on anonymizing Twitter
> handles!
> Thank you in advance!
> _______________________________________________
> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/
> listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> http://www.aoir.org/

Maurice Vergeer
To contact me, see http://mauricevergeer.nl/node/5
For yesterday's news in perspective: http://www.echovannl.nl/
To see my publications, see http://mauricevergeer.nl/node/1
PGP public key:

More information about the Air-L mailing list