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UGS 302: Fan Mail, Haters, and the Literary / Clement

Finding Social Media Sources


You will need a Twitter account to search Twitter. Sign up by clicking here.

Search via Twitter's Advanced Search

Search via TweetDeck

Tip: Use TweetDeck to build your search, then paste it into Twitter's search to see all Tweets & Replies. See photo below on where to copy the search query. Hover over photo for alt text. 

Photo shows screenshot pointing out the Share link below the Preferences option as where to click to Copy search query

After you click on the "Copy search query" prompt, you should see a field with your query translated into Twitter operators. For more on Twitter operators and how they work, see the Box below the image. 

Reddit allows you to search for posts with or without a Reddit user account. 

However, you cannot search the comments. So we will use this browser based search tool called PushShift.

Pushshift searches Reddit comments and posts and allows you to search by date.screenshot of PushShift interface


screenshot of Hadzy interface, showing the title of a YouTube video and the ability to view its comments and related statistics


Search YouTube videos' comments, see comment word clouds, view general video statistics using Hadzy: 

Note their terms of use taken from their page:


To accept Google Privacy Policy:

To be bound by the YouTube Terms of Service:

To be tracked by Google Analytics:

Your actions to be recorded by Hotjar:

Twitter Search Operators

Operator Finds tweets...
twitter search containing both "twitter" and "search". This is the default operator.
"happy hour" containing the exact phrase "happy hour".
love OR hate containing either "love" or "hate" (or both).
beer -root containing "beer" but not "root".
#haiku containing the hashtag "haiku".
from:alexiskold sent from person "alexiskold".
to:techcrunch sent to person "techcrunch".
@mashable referencing person "mashable".
"happy hour" near:"austin" containing the exact phrase "happy hour" and sent near "austin".
near:NYC within:15mi sent within 15 miles of "NYC".
superhero since:2010-12-27 containing "superhero" and sent since date "2010-12-27" (year-month-day).
ftw until:2010-12-27 containing "ftw" and sent up to date "2010-12-27".
movie -scary :) containing "movie", but not "scary", and with a positive attitude.
flight :( containing "flight" and with a negative attitude.
traffic ? containing "traffic" and asking a question.
hilarious filter:links containing "hilarious" and linking to URLs.
news source:twitterfeed containing "news" and entered via TwitterFeed

So you want to dig through the trash...

Unexpected gems and expected toxicity await you when you search social media.

Take care and know:

  • When working with social media, we may encounter racist, oppressive, violent, or toxic language in the search results or individual sources

  • When we discuss these primary sources, we will want to use terms that reflect the ways communities describe themselves

  • Let’s try not to reinforce harm through this process. 

  • It’s okay to take a break.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.