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Timely Telling Tweets: Using Social Media Data to Tell the Stories of Window Sex Workers in Amsterdam Facing Major Changes to Their Working Conditions

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Abstract

In July 2019, the Amsterdam Government outlined five potential scenarios for the future of window prostitution in the Red-Light District. The main reason for the remodelling of window prostitution was due to nuisances caused by large crowds in the city centre, disrespectful behaviour of visitors towards sex workers and residents. Residents are fearful of the reputation that Amsterdam is obtaining with this increase in anti-social behaviour damaging the social fabric of the area leading to complaints from residents to authorities. This chapter presents a reflective evaluation of conducting a Narrative Review (NR) methodology written in ‘real-time’ from September 2019–August 2020 harvesting data from 15 window sex worker personal reflections gathered through social media platform Twitter. Making use of Twitter data, this chapter reflects ethical challenges and wider methodological issues faced when conducting this research. Focussing on practical challenges of using tweets highlighting academic shortcomings in adherence to confidentiality and ethical pathways when submitting research to plagiarism software. This chapter also explores the limitations of qualitative data exploring grey literature not written in English and barriers of translating tweets and the obstacles of performing research in real-time. Overall, this chapter seeks to offer insight to novice researchers and students who are considering this method and similar harvesting of contemporary qualitative data.

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