jhuns at vt.edu
Sat Aug 11 13:40:32 PDT 2007
> Some readers come along, google the string, and get led back to your
> subject and write to them, wondering why they are SO damned abnormal,
> sexually speaking.
and that wouldn't have happened otherwise? I'm afraid i don't see
where the addition of the quotation has added any new harm. It
might have opened up the material to a new community.
> Now . . . I would say that the subject has not been protected.
protected from what? people's opinion? public scorn? now, if a
person could be fired for their blogging, which is the case, then
perhaps that would be a harm, but... to what extent is my article
harming them? is the materials existence in the world harming them,
is there actions harming them, is google or other search engine
harming them. did they receive harm from their public action? or
> would say that without their permission, you've exposed their
> character to personal damage. You've not only used their material
> without permission and used their material as data for a study,
> you've also labeled them as abnormal AND drawn people's attention to
> them as such . . . WITH your university-researcher's authority as an
> expert, without so much as asking them if they understand what you
> are up to or it it's ok to use their material.
I've not in this case added any more harm to the possible body of
harm that already exists. It is a public blog, if a person finds the
quote through my article is no different than them stumbling upon it
via google, a newspaper, or any other position. that i've quoted it
may add something, but I don't necessarily see that addition of harm.
> Gee... I kinda think that's the sort of thing that human subject
> protection is supposed to stop, isn't it?
not necessarily. human subject protection is supposed to balance the
possible harms to the subject against the possible benefits of the
research... at least that's the position of the irb manuals i've read.
In this case, the harm that would be added to the possible harm that
exists for the subject is minimal in relation to the public good of
Information Ethics Fellow, Center for Information Policy Research,
School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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