Social Media as a Research Tool


There is so much social media about any subject being posted and uploaded every minute that it is possible to research anything using any platform. Determining if the information is true or pure fabrication is up to the researcher, and their knowledge about reliable sources.

YouTube is one of biggest entertainment platforms of our generation. It is also full of hours of explanations, “how-to”s, and information on everything in our world. One of the greatest things about YouTube is that anyone can create and upload anything they want, however this is where the search for dependable data meets its downfall. Since anyone can post these videos it is often unclear how reliable the information in the videos are. Determining if the material is trustworthy is up to the viewer

Wikis are an extensive source for finding material on whatever topic you can think of. One of the main wikis that most people use to collect general information is Wikipedia. This source is great for getting an overview of almost anything. Professionals post their knowledge on this site and then this information is moderated making it pretty reliable. External sources are cited at the bottom of page making it easy to check the information with alternative sources and research certain topics in more depth.

Facebook has become one of the largest forms of social media surpassing the 1.1 billion users mark in May. It’s quickly become a global phenomenon and its numbers do not show signs of slowing down. Facebook is a site used to create a portfolio of yourself where you can display interests, photos and connect with other friends. It also becomes accustom to follow a fan page of your favourite celebrity on Facebook, which is where inconstant data becomes a factor. Due to the fact that you don’t know who is behind the account of your favourite celebrity it’s impractical to believe that all the information being projected through the page is sufficient. This also gives whoever is behind the page all the freedom in the world to display whatever they feel the need to.

Facebook and twitter go hand and hand. Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to “micro blog” whatever is on their mind for whoever is willing to read. The problem is like Facebook you can never really know for sure who’s on the other end of the account sending out messages to the public. Twitter tried to work around this problem by “verifying” specific celebrity accounts that are assured to be real by the celebrity. However this still doesn’t guarantee that it’s the specific celebrity typing each and every tweet that gets out to the public. The truth of the matter is that users can never really know if those are the persons real thoughts.



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