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

Rhiannon Bury rcbury at rogers.com
Wed Mar 4 09:17:33 PST 2009

Hi Pearse

Yes, I've broken a few rules myself but this is a MA  student (I think)and she needs to learn the rules first and abide by them. And yes, the issue of intervention on Facebook is a particular consideration as it is likely a violation of their TOS. The fact that the student does not seem to have even bothered to read them closely even after being directed to them is also a concern.


From: Pearse Stokes <pearsestokes at gmail.com>
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 3:45:51 AM
Subject: Re: [Air-L] facebook research - need some thoughts on facebook, and research ethics

Hi Mary,

I think the issue you need to resolve is the issue of 'intervention' not 'intervention on facebook'.. What is your proposal? What is your research question?

Having broken probably every one of the British Sociological Associations ethical guidelines at some point or other I would suggest that you explore a "positive/negative" approach. Whereby you argue that the breech of ethics is offset by the value of the research. However, intervention is not research (I crossed the boundary between research and intervention in my Pro-Ana research arguing that I was a human first and an researcher second) so who are you to intervene?

Perhaps if we knew what you were looking at in a bit more detail we could help. I love ethical issues! haha.

Pearse Stokes

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