I was asked to give a talk last week at the UWE University Research Ethics Commmittee training day about the ethical challenges of researching online. This turned into a blog post for the lovely people over at #NSMNSS, whom you should definitely check out if you’re doing any kind of researching involving social media.
These are some of the questions that keep me awake at night. Perhaps the biggest insight for me here is that the vast majority of them are not asked on an ethics application form. While going through the ethics approval process has been a useful starting point for me, I have had to put in a lot of thought outside of and beyond the framework of that single form. There certainly aren’t any universal right answers for these questions, and some days I am not even convinced there is a single right answer for my particular research. There are simply different choices I can make, with as much consultation with the community as possible, while being aware of the power imbalances and responsibilities inherent in my position.
Read more at #NSMNSS.