Congratulations to Yan Chen, whose first PhD paper is published (open access) today in Frontiers in Big Data, titled From theory to practice: Insights and hurdles in collecting social media data for social science research. She started her PhD in 2018, the year of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and this paper is a perspective piece that documents her challenges of data access for her PhD, which took her through eight different options before finding one that worked (enough). This was in stark contrast to Instagram data collection for her Master’s several years before, for which she used the academic tool Netlytic. The closing of APIs starting in 2018 did not make people safer, it just concentrated the data in a smaller set of (commercial) hands. This paper advocates for a stronger role for government and other regulators in ensuring access to social media for public good research.