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

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Tue Mar 3 10:24:58 PST 2009

FB as a research site is no different than any other research site, I  
think both the ethics guidelines and the Tri-council guidelines cover  
their requirements clearly.  I wonder though... what you mean by  
intervention here.  Because it would seem to me that the nature of  
intervention is going to determine how your work actually plays out in  
regards to tri-council guidelines.

If for instance, you developed a piece of software that people could  
subscribe to and did not collect any data from them but just had the  
software do things the user wanted, then you watched their facebook  
page to see if they user did things differently, but you never  
interacted with the page.  that would, i think, be different, then if  
you actively post, etc. and talk with your participants.

http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/english/policystatement/addenda.cfm  is  
the relevant url for the main ethics info.

On Mar 3, 2009, at 1:13 PM, marybeth deline wrote:

> 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,
> MB
> mdeline at alumni.sfu.ca
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