[Air-L] facebook research - need some thoughts on facebook and research ethics

Rhiannon Bury rcbury at rogers.com
Tue Mar 3 21:08:44 PST 2009

Hi Marybeth

I  did online research while I was on faculty at UW. You can't do any research with human subjects  without going through the REB. You should contact the Research Office for advice and then complete the forms for thesis work on their website. 

Like the previous poster, I  do not understand what you mean by "intervention." It seems that you are implying a form deception, which if the case, I can pretty much assure you that your proposal will not be approved. Also, you  can't just post things on people's walls unless they are "friends." Running apps on facebook without people's permission, or maybe even with it, is most certainly a TOS violation.  

Rhiannon Bury
Assistant Professor
Women's Studies
Athabasca University
rbury at athabascau.ca

From: marybeth deline <mdeline at alumni.sfu.ca>
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 11:13:52 AM
Subject: [Air-L] facebook research - need some thoughts on facebook and research ethics

Hi everyone,

My name's Mary Beth Deline and I'm currently a graduate candidate at the University of Waterloo - I'm hoping I can get some help from the list re: research ethics and Facebook. I'm currently checking out how feasible my thesis proposal is, which concerns using Facebook as a site for an intervention - either by developing an application or posting information on participant's walls (these participant's would have been recruited beforehand). I've contacted Facebook and they referred me to their Terms of Services and said that was all they could do for me. I'm having trouble finding someone who can help me match that (and their Developer Terms of Service) up to the Canadian Tri-Council ethical guidelines.

If anyone has any experience using Facebook as an intervention site, or is able to provide guidance/direction on FB and research ethics (either American or Canadian), could you please get in touch with me, on or off the list? I've reviewed the Tri-Council's Feb 08 recommendation paper on Internet research and have searched the archives on this list as well but haven't been able to find anything specifically about using FB as a research 'site'. Thanks in advance,

mdeline at alumni.sfu.ca

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