We're excited to finally say that the source code for the Mock Social Media Website Tool is now available on the GitHub repository! Coinciding with the public release of the source code are numerous updates to this documentation that will guide you on how to deploy and use it.
We want to note a few other things at this time. Relative to the expectations we may have set during the announcement on Twitter or the webinar, our (extremely small) team may have been a bit overly ambitious in what we thought we could polish and finalize in time for the initial release. Software development is very complex and constantly throws new curve balls at you, which often have cascading effects across other parts of the software. We believe research tools need to be robust and meet very high bars of quality, so doing sufficient testing to make sure we can handle every kind of edge case and designing things to be forwards-compatible is critical.
Thus, we want to be transparent about what is currently a work-in-progress and will be added in the coming weeks and months:
- Full WCAG compliance is still a work-in-progress. More common accessibility needs such as support for participants using any kind of device and high visual contrast, however, are already supported.
- An in-progress version of the Twitter platform is currently included in this release of the tool. However, it is currently lacking various visual changes needed to make the user interface and experience more closely simulate those of Twitter, and associated testing for robustness. However, researchers are still free to use it at their own discretion (and share any bugs with us if you come across any!).
- The ability to specify comments (Facebook) or replies (Twitter) is still under development to ensure interoperability of data across platforms.
- The ability to upload profile photos for post authors is still undergoing development.
- Template analysis code and instructions on how to deploy the tool online (i.e., to AWS) are forthcoming as we try to streamline the process.
- Location and device information is not output in the data.
We appreciate your patience and understanding, and hope you're still excited to to test, configure, and/or run the studies you want to run using the tool locally in the meantime. Video tutorials on how to get the tool up-and-running locally and online will be posted in the coming weeks alongside template code for analyses. As these and the features mentioned above are added to the tool, we will keep you updated via new blog posts and updates via Twitter, with accompanying documentation here.