Using Internet Capacities for Social Statistical Surveys
The article describes the features, problems and benefits of social statistical surveys by means of Internet. The changes taking place with the development of the Internet and social networks create new challenges, in particular as regards the methodological support of such research.
In the most developed countries, the population using the Internet is almost equal to the total population, and this trend will continue to spread in other countries as well. This creates many new opportunities for statistical social research.
Unlike conventional observations, social networks exist in such a way that they contain a great deal of information about users and their activities, which can be digitized and presented as a database in which information or information will be constantly updated or accumulated. Thus, it makes it suitable for generalization, calculation, classification, measurement, as well as for a number of advanced statistical and other analyzes. It is theoretically and practically possible to study the population as a whole, and not just its sample population.
Data on social networks are available in a continuous time series and space, which allows for constant monitoring of trends and contributes to a deeper understanding of cause and effect changes. This approach improves the descriptive plane of research, unlike conventional observation methods. At the same time, there are some difficulties, including the reliability of the observation data. Because, it is quite difficult to check the reliability of the socio-demographic characteristics of the data obtained (gender, age, education, etc.). In view of this, in the international practice the method of correcting the results of research in social networks with national observation data is used.
Therefore, the key issue remains to be the development of special methodology for social statistical surveys in the Internet, which will take into account all the features and specificities of the Internet environment on the whole and its users in particular.
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