[Air-L] seeking advice regarding research on photo-sharing websites

Charles Ess charles.ess at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 10:59:56 PST 2012

Um - was the only reason you didn't ask for the permission explicitly
required by the terms of use was fear of rejection and thus a real crimp (to
put it mildly) in your project and publication?

Your efforts to anonymize content and sources are sensible enough - but from
a legal point of view (I think), you're bound by the terms of use,
especially on the presumption that you agreed to these when you
(presumptively) signed up for an account in order to gain access to the
site's contents?

There may be more than one experienced researcher on the list who will
provide us with good arguments for ignoring a terms of use agreement, at
least when coupled with efforts such as your own to meet important
requirements for protecting privacy, etc.  Whether those arguments can
override an ostensible agreement to the terms of use will be interesting to

BTW: there's an interesting and perhaps somewhat parallel debate at the
moment in climate circles as to whether a scientist/journalist's deception -
which brought forward important documentation of the plans and funding
sources of a climate-change-denying organization called the Heartland
It is striking to me to see the several responses to the effect: the ends do
not justify the means.

Looking forward to hearing others' suggestions and insights.
- charles ess

On 2/26/12 3:53 PM, "Nune Nikoghosyan" <nunenik at gmail.com> wrote:

> In terms of privacy or harm, I
> don't think I'm running any risks. I have also included a brief description
> of the site and its tools, features and functionalities. However, the
> website's terms of use forbid any use of its content without written
> consent from the webmasters, even if all content is completely public:
> http://www.treklens.com/tou.php

More information about the Air-L mailing list