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

marybeth deline mdeline at alumni.sfu.ca
Fri Mar 6 06:36:49 PST 2009

Hi Everyone

Thanks for your questions, comments and suggestions. Sorry it's taken  
so long to get back to you - being a newbie I had some problems  
responding to the list but Holly's helped me fix that (thanks Holly!)

First, I should clarify that I am in no way trying to subvert either  
Facebook's Terms of Service or Research Ethics through my project -  
I'm trying to put them together and identify areas where they don't  
seem to match up so I can highlight them and provide possible  
solutions to them in my Ethics application. I'm doing this now rather  
than later in the process to determine if such a project is even  

Re: FB's Terms of Service, I've gone through them extensively (and  
with a fine-toothed comb!) but being a newbie to the list wasn't sure  
if this was the right place to air my specific questions about them  
and take up in-box space - I've had several people go over my  
specific concerns off list (thank you!), and if anyone else is  
interested in doing so, please feel free to get in touch.

I should probably have been clearer about the project - when I said  
using Facebook as a site for an 'intervention' I meant an experiment,  
using a Facebook application to provide participants with information  
on their profile pages, which would also be observable (and subject  
to comments) from their friends. Both the participants and their  
friends would have to consent to the project - deception is not part  
of the design and will not be used.

Jennifer, thanks for the direct to Stephanie's stuff - I'll take a  
look at it.


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