Social Research Desk

Look Differently at Social Media

Policy, Terms, Etc.


This web site retrieves data from Twitter, which can deliver pretty NSFW resutls from time to time. And also not so pretty NSFW results, I might add. You've been warned.

Twitter Authorization

To use this web site, you must authorize it to access Twitter in a read-only fashion on your behalf. This is per Twitter's rules for use of its API. Twitter gives me a set of unique tokens I can use, and I store those tokens in a local database for return visits. These tokens do not allow me to do anything to your account (they're read only, again). They do allow me to see your Twitter user id.

You can revoke this web site's permissions to use Twitter on your behalf at any time by visiting the Twitter Applications page. This applies to all applications, not just this one, and it's well worth a visit just to see how many applications you've authorized. If there's any you don't recognize, you should consider revoking their access. If you do revoke mine I won't be offended, but I don't have code in place to notice so this web site will be dead to you until you delete my cookie.


Speaking of cookies, I set two cookies on my own: a jsessionid (guess what language I'm using) and a cookie that starts with SRD- and ends with your twitter id. The first is used by Tomcat to track your session, and the second by me to recover the authorization on return visits. I also use "statcounter" to track visits, and they have their own cookie policies. We here in the USA don't really seem to have any rules about such things, but I appreciate other countries are more sensitive to the issue, judging by the fact that every European website has a cookie pop-up when I visit them.


The only thing I know about you is your Twitter screen name, IP address, and whatever pages you visit on my site. I do not know or track the search terms you use, and will purge the web server logs whenever I get around to it, which might be never.

About this site

Social Research Desk is a collection of interesting visualizations and analyses of Twitter. It is not a holistic platform, but rather an assortment of ways of looking at social media different than the traditional timeline. The origin of these is usually a question like (for example) "what if I search Twitter for pictures, not for tweets?" And from that, Pictura was born.

I tend to think of the applications here as really good proof-of-concepts rather than production code. I do not do extensive testing with all browsers, especially not with IE. It works in Chrome and should work almost everywhere else.

This is an unfinished work. It will probably never get to finish. Or polish. Even though both are wonderful languages, I hear.

Copyright and Disclaimer

The entire site is Copyright 2013 by Charles McGuinness.

The views expressed on this site are my own, and I do not speak for nor am endorsed by any other organization that I might be affiliated with.