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Yvette Morey & Andrew Bengry-Howell University of Bath Digital Ethnography and Ethics in the context of Web 2.0.

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Presentation on theme: "Yvette Morey & Andrew Bengry-Howell University of Bath Digital Ethnography and Ethics in the context of Web 2.0."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yvette Morey & Andrew Bengry-Howell University of Bath Digital Ethnography and Ethics in the context of Web 2.0

2 Mediated Lives & Web 2.0 Everyday life increasingly technologically mediated (Murthy, 2008) Internet – key site of mediation & living of daily life (Puri, 2007) Web 2.0: online, social platforms enable creation, collaboration & sharing: –blogging & micro-blogging (Twitter) –social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace) –media sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr) –Social bookmarking sites (Delicious) –mash-ups (Google maps) “Computing is not about computing anymore, it is about living” (Negroponte in Flew, 2002: 12) Web 2.0 icons

3 Digital Ethnography Changing social fabric (Beer & Burrows, 2007) Disciplines respond with methods & questions Virtual ethnographies – develop understanding through participation & observation (Hines, 2000) Desire to understand by engaging (Dominguez et al, 2007) Digital ethnography engages with digital content used to represent and construct everyday lives online Ethical issues of online research complicated by Web 2.0 environment - not addressed “We shape our tools, and thereafter they shape us” (Marshall McLuhan)

4 Existing Ethical Guidelines BPS (2007): Report of Working Party on Conducting Research on the Internet 1.Verifying identity 2.Public/private space: –consent unless reasonably expect to be observed –Address of forums & online pseudonyms not published 3.Informed consent 4.Deception – lurking as a member to collect data 5.Data protection: consent for processing of personal information

5 Festival & Free Party Research Music festivals & free parties – marketed, promoted as spaces of freedom & authenticity Festivals: mainstream, middle-class, major sponsorship Free parties, illegal, small networks, promoted by select members How do young adults negotiate branding & marketing in these spaces? How are spaces different i.t.o managed & unmanaged consumption? Range of methods including analysis of web forums Significant online presence across platforms: forums, media-sharing, social networking sites etc. Negotiating Managed Consumption: Young people, branding & social identification processes (ESRC)

6 Ethical issues in Web 2.0 Unable to use data within guidelines because: Private becomes public (on/offline) –Personal & private voluntarily exposed –Private and public nuanced, different across different platforms User-generated content: –users/participants become authors/producers –Public domain or informed consent? –Attribution & credit for content (IP) –Open content ethos – authorship unstable (Snee, 2008)

7 BPS/Inst. Guidelines Researcher Pub Domain (Journ) Not appt for Web 2.0: Multi-user & author, content fluid, unstable Ind. Responsibility Subjective No practical imp. No credit for content Expose vulnerable group/practice InstitutionResearcher User-authors, web admin At what point on the spectrum are decisions based? Who is onus on to take ethical steps? Who should onus be on to give permission to use data? Who owns the data? Researchers unsure about/unable to use online content Spectrum of Decisions & Responsibility

8 Future Ethics How does Web 2.0 community engage with simultaneous need for privacy, attribution for content & move towards open access? Trust & transparency rather than confidentiality (Snee, 2008) Creative Commons, Open Commons CC licence: permissions for how content can be used (copyright) –Attribution –Share-alike –Noncommercial –No derivative works Creative Commons icons

9 Ethical Commons Ethical Commons based on/adapted from principles of CC? Recognition by HEFCE/Institutions as set of standards that researchers can use to negotiate ethical conduct with participants and use of content online Well-known online brand that has stamp of approval Return to informed consent but –Mirrors online/Web 2.0 environment –In sync with ethos of collaboration and sharing –Flexible Creative/Ethical Commons – in sync with move towards Open access in published content In combination with offline ethics tools (consent, debriefing etc) More transparent about practices and able to publicise work

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