A paper titled "The Age of Social Sensing," by Dong Wang, Boleslaw K. Szymanski, Tarek Abdelzaher, Heng Ji, and Lance Kaplan, was published in IEEE Computer, vol. 52(1), 2019.

Online social media have democratized the broadcasting of information, encouraging users to view the world through the lens of social networks. The exploitation of this lens, termed social sensing, presents challenges for researchers at the intersection of computer science and the social sciences. The unprecedented connectivity afforded by social media also gives rise to revolutionary new perspectives on empowering individuals and societies to collectively generate value from information. With this in mind and considering that posts on a social network collectively comprise a new way to index physical reality, social beliefs, concepts, biases, and ideas, a logical question arises: Can one develop a new type of instrument—a new “macroscope”—to view the world state? The purpose of such a device would be to reliably observe physical and social phenomena at scale, as interpreted by the collective intelligence of social media users. The paper describes challenges and partial solutions that we already have ready to use in building such a macroscope.