Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam: Methodological Considerations and Challenges for Studying Educators’ Twitter Use
Abstract: Social media have come to play an important role in the professional lives of many educators. Platforms such as Twitter create new spaces in which collegial contact can occur, opening up various avenues for support and development. These spaces, however, can attract users whose behaviors creates challenges for researchers who try to understand and analyze educators’ experiences on social media. In this paper, we describe the kinds of spam that we have encountered in our research specifically on educators’ Twitter use. After summarizing the relevant extant literature, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of various approaches to dealing with the digital noisiness of educator Twitter spaces. We define a number of practical metrics that researchers can utilize to help identify spam, and describe the process used in one study to identify and remove spam. We conclude by considering implications for educational researchers and teacher educators.