Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Dina Pinsky
Associate Professor of Sociology, Arcadia University,
pinskyd@arcadia.edu
1. Explore relationship between research ethics
and qualitative online methodologies
2. Raise questions rather than determ...
 Interviewed high school students about digitally
mediated communication with peers
 Special interest in social media an...
 More than two months of revisions and discussions
 Concerned with issues of internet privacy, consent,
and mandatory re...
 Teens exert control over online privacy through
social steganography (boyd 2015)
 Difficult to discern “true meaning” o...
 Insufficient compensation for work and legal
responsibility
 Biomedical sciences bias
 Under-representation of ethnogr...
Game changer for IRBs
 Lack of clarity in OHRP guidelines
 Difficulty of relying on precedents
 Thus no best practices
...
Three paradigms:
1. All searchable online content is public data
2. Internet users as amateur artists, online content
as c...
 Users know their words are read by the public
 Exempt from IRB: researchers analyze digital
interactions without intera...
 Humanities scholars: online material like published
texts
 Cultural artifacts rather than social interactions of
human ...
AoIR 2012 Guidelines (Markham and Buchanan 2012)
 “Perceived privacy” - expectations of privacy,
control of personal info...
 My approach to social media research: subject to
IRB review even if no interaction
 Varying degrees of privacy on inter...
 U.S. IRB standards compared to other countries?
 More restrictive, because of litigiousness?
 “Sensitive data” = cultu...
Questions or comments?
Dina Pinsky pinskyd@arcadia.edu
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Dina Pinsky, "Digital Ethnography and the IRB"

268 views

Published on

Regulatory limitations confront changing technological affordances

Published in: Social Media
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Dina Pinsky, "Digital Ethnography and the IRB"

  1. 1. Dina Pinsky Associate Professor of Sociology, Arcadia University, pinskyd@arcadia.edu
  2. 2. 1. Explore relationship between research ethics and qualitative online methodologies 2. Raise questions rather than determine answers 3. Inspired by experience gaining IRB approval for teens and social media project 4. Question IRB policies and practices re digital research, while appreciating IRB work
  3. 3.  Interviewed high school students about digitally mediated communication with peers  Special interest in social media and gender  Follow on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter  Do not interact with participants online  n=57 for interviews, 55 for online observations
  4. 4.  More than two months of revisions and discussions  Concerned with issues of internet privacy, consent, and mandatory reporting  As if I would be observing diary entries or private conversations  Would I ask participants to post on social media that I am observing?  Would have prohibited my research
  5. 5.  Teens exert control over online privacy through social steganography (boyd 2015)  Difficult to discern “true meaning” of intentionally obscure posts, tweets, comments  Privacy level of platform  level of social steganography, type of username, amount of sharing  E.g.Twitter vs. Facebook: impression management  Result: agency over presentation of self & boundaries
  6. 6.  Insufficient compensation for work and legal responsibility  Biomedical sciences bias  Under-representation of ethnographers  Protocols vs. inductive design of ethnographic methods The gap between regulatory definition of research practices and ethnographic methods has grown wider with the advent of qualitative digital research.
  7. 7. Game changer for IRBs  Lack of clarity in OHRP guidelines  Difficulty of relying on precedents  Thus no best practices  Ethical decision making may exceed IRB protocols  Exploratory – ethical decision making after data collection  Ever-changing technological affordances, privacy agreements, and cultural practices  Lack of agreement on classifying online spaces as public or private
  8. 8. Three paradigms: 1. All searchable online content is public data 2. Internet users as amateur artists, online content as cultural text 3. Digital ethnography: online content is social interaction and potentially sensitive due to searchability and traces
  9. 9.  Users know their words are read by the public  Exempt from IRB: researchers analyze digital interactions without interacting with research participants, and de-identify data  direct observation of public space  or archival research of publicly available existing data  Therefore not human subjects research (Walther 2002).
  10. 10.  Humanities scholars: online material like published texts  Cultural artifacts rather than social interactions of human subjects  Internet users like amateur artists rather than human subjects (Bruckman 2002)  No need for IRB review Humanities scholarship should be included in discussions of internet research ethics (White 2002).
  11. 11. AoIR 2012 Guidelines (Markham and Buchanan 2012)  “Perceived privacy” - expectations of privacy, control of personal info, and protection from harm  Shifting and Byzantine privacy agreements on social media platforms  Increasing awareness about internet surveillance in media and warnings to adolescents  Thus, is perceived privacy on the decline?  Is it reasonable to expect privacy online?
  12. 12.  My approach to social media research: subject to IRB review even if no interaction  Varying degrees of privacy on internet  Searchability and digital traces  Confidentiality even more crucial with minors  Yet online research is not more risky than ethnography
  13. 13.  U.S. IRB standards compared to other countries?  More restrictive, because of litigiousness?  “Sensitive data” = culturally variable, e.g. Danish Data Protection Agency (Lomberg 2012)  Adolescents lumped in with younger minors  Yet, research shows 14 and older similar to adults in ability to understand complex material and be informed (Battles 2010, Santelli et al. 2003)  Lack of ethical clarity  ambiguity in field and terminology  Digital ethnography, internet archive, or textual analysis?
  14. 14. Questions or comments? Dina Pinsky pinskyd@arcadia.edu

×