[Air-L] research ethics again - students and FB
kalev.leetaru5 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 10 11:41:31 PST 2018
Its worth pointing out that US research university IRBs now fairly
routinely approve TOS violations, including egregious ones like creating
networks of fake accounts and flooding platforms with large numbers of
false requests or posts, placing and immediately canceling false orders,
etc. The use of minors would likely give pause, but in terms of what an
American IRB would approve today, most of the institutions that I've spoken
with in the course of my series on data ethics would likely approve this
project (see below). Whether others agree such work is ethical is an open
question, but absent the issue of minors, the TOS violations are
surprisingly pretty much ignored by IRBs today. Canadian IRBs I've spoken
with also seem to approve TOS violations as a matter of course.
On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 12:28 PM, Christopher J. Richter <
crichter at hollins.edu> wrote:
> Dear Charles,
> TOS agreements are most often legally binding. Requiring minors (indeed
> any study participant, but especially minors) to violate a legal contract,
> whether online or off, is unethical on the face of it.
> Then there is the issue of deception, of whom and how interactions on the
> fake accounts are deceiving. Deception, by definition, undermines informed
> consent. Will those who are deceived be debriefed? If not, it’s problematic.
> Christopher J. Richter, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor, Communication Studies
> Hollins University
> Roanoke VA, USA
> > On Jan 10, 2018, at 4:44 PM, Charles M. Ess <c.m.ess at media.uio.no>
> > Dear AoIRists,
> > What are your thoughts regarding the following?
> > A research project involves a small number of students, legally minors -
> and requires that they set up fake FB accounts for the sake of role-playing
> in an educational context?
> > Of course, fake accounts are a clear violation of the FB ToS.
> > I know we've discussed the ethics of researchers doing this (with mixed
> results, i.e., some for, some concerned).
> > But I'm curious what folk think / feel about this version of the problem.
> > Many thanks in advance,
> > - charles
> > --
> > Professor in Media Studies
> > Department of Media and Communication
> > University of Oslo
> > <http://www.hf.uio.no/imk/english/people/aca/charlees/index.html>
> > Postboks 1093
> > Blindern 0317
> > Oslo, Norway
> > c.m.ess at media.uio.no
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