A reality check(list) for digital methods

Tommaso Venturini, Liliana Bounegru, Jonathan Gray, Richard Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
303 Downloads (Pure)


Digital Methods can be defined as the repurposing of the inscriptions generated by digital media for the study of collective phenomena. The strength of these methods comes from their capacity to take advantage of the data and computational capacities of online platforms; their weakness comes from the difficulty to separate the phenomena that they investigate from the features of the media in which they manifest (‘the medium is the message’, according to McLuhan’s 1964 dictum). In this article, we discuss various methodological difficulties deriving from the lack of separation between medium and message and propose eight practical precautions to deal with it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4195-4217
JournalNew media & society
Issue number11
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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