shaping knowledge, shaping everyday life
This article discusses the newness of big data, arguing that it can be defined in relation to the type of knowledge that is created. It highlights the importance of big data in the research in social sciences, and especially in communication research, despite that research be partly limited by the data sources (often, commercial). Another impediment is that such research is pushing in many directions, but without integrating the new-found knowledge into overall accounts of the role of media in social change. And most of this knowledge is not being produced within the social sciences at all, but rather in the private sector and in policy settings. Big data also raises certain issues in new guises, such as privacy and social vigilance.