[Air-L] Anonymizing Twitter handles
Ye Na Lee
jpt2007 at berkeley.edu
Sun Apr 16 12:55:20 PDT 2017
Thank you Diana, Michael,
Maurice, xDxD.vs.xDxD, Bernhard, Shulman, José, Deen, and Jodi for all your
helpful feedback. As for some of the concerns that
anonymizing Twitter handles will be of no use if I am actually quoting the
tweets, I won`t be directly quoting the tweets because I will be
translating them from Korean to English and most of the tweets will be
presented in aggregated and summarized data sets. I think IRB is
taking more precaution because there is a risk of cyberbullying involved in
my research. I was going to follow Maurce, Bernhard, and Jose`s advice to
hash the Twitter handles
on excel and add a "salt" string but I realized that Twitter handles do not
constitute identifiable participant information according to IRB
standards and thus I won`t need to separate/code identifiers from collected
tweets. I will probably refer to Twitter handles as Twitter User A,
B, or C or hash the usernames on excel. Thank you all!
On Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 7:05 AM, Jodi Schneider <jschneider at pobox.com>
> I agree with Deen regarding educating your IRB; unless there is
> particularly sensitivity to the tweets you are quoting "anonymizing" may in
> fact be inappropriate. You might want to look at articles like these:
> Bruckman, Amy. "Studying the amateur artist: A perspective on disguising
> data collected in human subjects research on the Internet." *Ethics and
> Information Technology* 4.3 (2002): 217-231.
> Bruckman, Amy, Kurt Luther, and Casey Fiesler. "When Should We Use Real
> Names in Published Accounts of Internet Research?." *Digital Research
> Confidential: The Secrets of Studying Behavior Online* (2015): 243.
> On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 8:02 AM, Deen Freelon <dfreelon at gmail.com> wrote:
>> This could be an opportunity to educate your IRB on social media
>> research, as not all IRBs understand the implications of what they ask
>> researchers to do (I speak from personal experience here). As others have
>> stated, anonymization of Twitter data is both difficult logistically and
>> can impede analysis and presentation of results. At the same time, even
>> with such a public platform, these concerns must be balanced against users'
>> rights and interests. But there are ways other than anonymization to
>> accomplish this.
>> In our recent report on the Black Lives Matter movement's use of social
>> media, we took three steps to address the privacy and intellectual property
>> concerns of the users whose tweets we cited as examples:
>> * Posting links to tweets rather than reproducing their full text.
>> * Linking only to tweets that had collected a minimum of 100 retweets.
>> * Linking only to tweets posted by users who had at least 3,000
>> followers or were Twitter-verified.
>> We feel these steps helped achieve a balance between our interests as
>> researchers, the audience's interest in understanding the phenomenon, and
>> participants' interests in not having their content appropriated
>> inappropriately. You can read more about these steps on p. 86 of the
>> report, which is available here: http://cmsimpact.org/wp-conten
>> On 4/13/2017 11:11 PM, Ye Na Lee wrote:
>>> Dear subscribers to Association of Internet Researchers,
>>> I am currently going through IRB process for a research on Twitter data
>>> I was told to anonymize Twitter handles completely. Are there any online
>>> programs with which I could anonymize usernames? I don`t think I should
>>> create fake Twitter handles for every single tweet that I quote on my
>>> paper. I`d really appreciate any suggestions on anonymizing Twitter
>>> Thank you in advance!
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>> Deen Freelon, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor
>> School of Communication, American University
>> Office: McKinley 325
>> freelon at american.edu | http://dfreelon.org | @dfreelon <
>> New report: Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the
>> Online Struggle for Offline Justice <http://www.cmsimpact.org/blmreport>
>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
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