[Air-L] Conducting qualitative research on Facebook

Isabel Galvis galvisi at uni.coventry.ac.uk
Wed Feb 7 02:31:48 PST 2018

Dear Virginia,

You will need consent if you plan to use any type of data that can be traced back to a person. This is highly likely in the case of quotes, videos, images, etc.

Ethics on Facebook are rather complicated as their privacy policy is rather strict, so you need to be very careful regarding the privacy settings on what you plan to use, even if the content has been marked as public you will need consent as all data us owned by the person.

Best regards,

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-----Original Message-----
From: Air-L [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Virginia Balfour
Sent: 07 February 2018 05:39
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: [Air-L] Conducting qualitative research on Facebook


I would value advice on the ethics of collecting data from an Open Facebook page and the best ways to mitigate them.

My research is looking at an open Facebook page and it is likely that I will want to use data from conversations between commenters and statements made by commenters as part of my research.  While most observations will be generalised and made anonymous, there may be some conversations where it is pertinent to identify the commenters and/or identifiable comments.

In particular I am interested in whether people think it is  necessary or advisable to contact individual commenters to ask if their comments can be used in the research?

Are their any risk mitigation strategies that anyone has used in the past that they could recommend?


Virginia Balfour

QUT researcher.
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