Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Ethics Governance of Social Media Research?

Samuel, Gabrielle and Ahmed, W. and Kara, H. and Jessop, C. and Quinton, S. and Sanger, S. (2018) Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Ethics Governance of Social Media Research? Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 13 (4). pp. 452-454. ISSN 1556-2646

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Abstract

This article reports on a U.K. workshop on social media research ethics held in May 2018. There were 10 expert speakers and an audience of researchers, research ethics committee members, and research institution representatives. Participants reviewed the current state of social media ethics, discussing well-rehearsed questions such as what needs consent in social media research, and how the public/private divide differs between virtual and real-life environments. The lack of answers to such questions was noted, along with the difficulties posed for ethical governance structures in general and the work of research ethics committees in particular. Discussions of these issues enabled the creation of two recommendations. The first is for research ethics committees and journal editors to add the category of ‘data subject research’ to the existing categories of ‘text research’ and ‘human subject research’. This would reflect the fact that social media research does not fall into either of the existing categories and so needs a category of its own. The second is that ethical issues should be considered at all stages of social media research, up to and including aftercare. This acknowledges that social media research throws up a large number of ethical issues throughout the process which, under current arrangements for ethical research governance, risks remaining unaddressed. © The Author(s) 2018.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3308
Subjects:
ID Code:
129523
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 08:51
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Dec 2020 06:31